CRA Cyber Attack – Here’s What You Need to Know
On August 14, 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) website was temporarily shut down following being hit by three cyber-attacks, potentially compromising the personal information and security of all taxpayers with an account in the country.
The first and largest attack compromised thousands of GCKey accounts, which is responsible for providing Canadians with access to services like Employment Insurance (EI), Immigration and Refugee citizenship accounts and veterans programs. It is noted that this attack may have allowed hackers access to over 5,600 CRA My Accounts.
The second attack took place shortly after the first, which allowed hackers to by-pass all security questions and gain access to thousands more My Accounts. Finally, a third attack occurred over the weekend of August 15-16, which finally prompted the CRA to suspend all online activities in order to address these significant security breaches.
While the CRA Portal has now resumed online services as of August 20, many Canadians may be wondering if their account has been hacked, and what to do in order to ensure the security of their personal tax information
CRA Cyber Attack – What Should I do?
The government of Canada has updated the public, stating that those who were impacted by these beaches will be notified by the CRA that their account was breached, and what to do to rectify the situation.
While waiting to hear from the CRA, there are measures you can take independently in order to ensure the privacy and security of your account. First, it is important that you change your password, as the current one being used might be recorded by others who are not authorized to access your “My Account”. As always, passwords which include numbers, and capital letters will help secure your account as the password will be harder to guess. It is recommended that you do not use a similar password from other online accounts with your CRA My Account.
In addition to recreating your password, the CRA also recommends people to add email notifications as an added security measure. Through these notifications, you will be informed if someone has accessed your account, which will help confirm whether you or an unknown party may have accessed it. If you suspect there may be suspicious activity going on with your account, you should notify the CRA immediately in order for them to address the situation promptly, which can prevent the potential for any breaches to your account.
Though not required, some people may also choose to get SIN protection where companies monitor your SIN for any attempts to open lines of credit, bank accounts, etc.
If you have any questions or want assistance regarding any of your dealings with the CRA, call us today! We can help!
This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in this article. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.