Treasury Board to provide details on federal website security 'vulnerability'

Canadians looking to get a head start on filing their taxes by going online experienced a setback this weekend.

According to a later statement posted on the agency's website, all digital services had been restored by 5 PM on Sunday, with individuals, businesses, and accountants once again able to file returns and make payments, among other services, through the website.

The agency had shut down some services Friday at around 2 p.m. ET after discovering a potential security risk.

Later Friday afternoon, however, Samson said the CRA determined that while its website was protected, its digital services were "potentially vulnerable".

"Due to a recent vulnerability impacting specific computer systems worldwide, ‎we took our website offline and are address this issue", a CRA spokesperson said in an email to the Star.

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"The CRA takes the protection of Canadians' tax information very seriously".

The CRA services affected by the shutdown included "My Account", "My Business Account", "Netfile", "EFILE" and "Auto-Fill My Return".

CRA said suspending the online services was a precaution, not the result of a successful hack or breach, and that maintenance security patches would ensure all information would remain safe.

He says people can prepare their income tax and benefit returns, and electronically file when the services come back online.

Samson also said previously filed tax returns were still being looked at during the disruption.