900 social insurance numbers taken in Canada Revenue Agency security breach involving Heartbleed

Meghan Hurley reports:

 The social insurance numbers of 900 Canadians were swiped from the Canada Revenue Agency website after its Internet software was compromised by the so-called Heartbleed computer bug.

Andrew Treusch, the commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency, said in a statement the CRA has worked around the clock to implement a “patch” for the bug.

Read more on Ottawa Citizen.

About the author: Dissent

3 comments to “900 social insurance numbers taken in Canada Revenue Agency security breach involving Heartbleed”

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  1. Amazed Canuck - April 14, 2014

    I think the worse part about this is the following:

    The Director of CIRA (the Canadian Domain Authority) kept asking on twitter why the gov didn’t take their vulnerable site down. It was still up and no one doing anything.

    On April 8, someone contacted Canada’s Privacy Commissioner about the affected CRA website, but got a response along the lines of, “it’s not their job”.

    The same day reports were flooding twitter that CRA was indeed affected. People even Spammed the CRA with it.

    On April 7 & 8 even the CCIRC (Ministry of Public safety/ Cyber safety) didn’t bother issuing any alert.

    Three whole days after the fact, and after people complaining, only then does the Ministry do it’s job:

    Three whole days later, the Minister replies to people who spammed him:

    Took CRA 2 or 3 whole days to even take their site vulnerable down:

    CRA issued this:

    “the CRA acted quickly to protect taxpayer information by removing public access to its online services on April 8, 2014”


    Glad we have non government people on the job and not sleeping at their desk. Maybe people like Mr. McArthur should have the responsible Minister’s salary? Maybe he should have the Privacy Commissioners salary too if these type things are “not their department”.

    Of course privacy is becoming so meaningless in Canada I can’t imagine any of the above gov people being paid more than minimum wage.

    Does it sound like I’m annoyed at the whole lot in these “responsible” gov positions? 😉


    “your info, their screw-ups”. unh-hunh.
    Seems more like they don’t care. It’s not important enough.

    Enough ranting for me for today.

    Will wait for my letter to see if i’m one of the “900” (which many are also calling BS on).

    • Dissent - April 15, 2014

      As an update, today the RMCP admitted they asked CRA to delay notification of the breach: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/RCMP+admits+asked+revenue+agency+delay+releasing/9740399/story.html

      • Amazed Canuck - April 16, 2014

        I shall empty my head.

        Yup. Delay of *Notification*. But there still needs some explaining to do as to why they just left it up. Were they trying to catch kids playing with a new exploit?

        From what I understand the mainstream was aware since the 7th. Those who follow exploits, security and vulnerabilities knew since the 4th (Just like with the juiciest privacy news, exploit news and proof of concepts are released on a Friday as well).

        I believe companies like CloudFlare.com (for example) fixed their end on the 4th (they have security people working for them, unlike the Canadian gov).So on the 4th and all that weekend news was out about it.Some companies fixed it, some left it till Monday, the 7th. The Canadian Gov is claiming the exploit went live on the 7th (which it didn’t).

        So those in security circles new of this on the 4th.

        The governments response of having only a 6-hr window (exploitable for only 6 hours) doesn’t jive. At all.

        The opposition political parties are now calling the gov out to give full details of the time-line from when it became known, to when they pulled the site(s) down.

        The letter the opposition is tossing at the gov can be seen here (*.docx):

        Even they get the date wrong, but meh. The 7th is really when the mainstream media was reporting on it.

        In regards to PrivCom and the apparent reply (see first post) some people got from PrivCom. It seems that was indeed the case. PrivCom confirmed in a press release this isn’t their department. It’s only their department when the data has been breached by the gov, and not before hand (even though it’s a disaster waiting to happen).

        How many people know to contact some “Treasury Ministry” due to data breaches? I certainly never heard of this and I follow privacy and breaches. Don’t ever recall seeing this on PrivCom’s website.

        What a joke.

        Seems the gov is just going into butt-covering mode. In the 6hr window on that date, this will be kids trying it out. The ones with real interest and intent would have started the 4th and all that weekend. The 900 number they toss at us peasants doesn’t add up.

        I would like to see what logs (dates etc) they get this 900 from since they are claiming ignorance to 3 whole days.

        And then of course, this is all just mainstream. In non-mainstream this exploit was known for 2 years.

        I emptied my thoughts now.

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