CRA online tax services offline over possible security risk

Canada Revenue Agency's national headquarters in Ottawa, Ont., on July 4, 2016. Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press/File

The Canada Revenue Agency shut down some web services Friday afternoon after discovering a potential security breach.

“We are not aware of any unauthorized access to taxpayer information and we continue to monitor closely,” CRA spokesperson Patrick Samson told Global News through email Saturday evening. “Digital services were taken offline as a precaution, not as the result of a successful hack or breach.”

READ MORE: What the CRA can and can’t do with your data and social media accounts

“The CRA first took the websites offline at around midnight ET on March 10 after discovering an internet vulnerability that affects some computer servers used by websites worldwide,” Samson said. After addressing the issue, services returned around 90 minutes later.

The government agency decided to pull the sites back down at 2 p.m. on Friday after determining digital services were potentially at risk.

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Among the services which have been affected by the decision are: My Account, My Business Account, Represent a Client, the MyCRA mobile application, the MyBenefits mobile application, Netfile, EFILE and Auto-Fill My Return.

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Samson was unable to provide a timeline as to when the web site would be back online.

“We continue to assess and remedy the situation,” Samson said. “Updates will be ‎posted as they become available.

“Individuals can continue to prepare their income tax and benefit return and electronically file once digital services are fully operational.‎ ‎”