Heartbleed Bug forces CRA to delay online tax returns
Computer virus allows hackers to access password and banking information
The Heartbleed Bug, a computer virus, has forced the shutdown of the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, delaying all e-file tax returns.
The Heartbleed Bug affects secured websites that use OpenSSL to protect private information.
The software code is used worldwide in two-thirds of all web servers.
Galen Mitchell of the Liberty Tax Service sees hundreds of clients during the tax season but with the CRA website down, he is unable to file returns.
"They'll all go at once so CRA will probably get inundated with a large volume all at once. And hopefully won't crash again,” he said.
Andrea Meade, co-owner of PC Girls, said the bug interrupts the so-called heartbeat between the server and the computer, allowing hackers to figure out the encryption and access passwords or banking information.
"It doesn't leave any trace so nobody knows if they've been left vulnerable or not,” said Meade. “So it’s best to assume if you've done anything on the internet, that you have been exposed."
At the University of New Brunswick, students received an email Wednesday letting them know that the school has already patched dozens of university servers and is updating its systems to deal with the bug.
The only protection computer users have is changing their passwords and changing them again once all of the problems with the web servers have been fixed.