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Cyber Attack Against the Federal Government Puts Canadians at Risk

Cyber Attack Against the Federal Government Puts Canadians at Risk

September 3, 2020

Government computers at the Canada Revenue Agency and GCKey were hacked and individuals’ banking information was changed, and passwords stolen, writes Peter Watson.

The Canada Revenue Agency computers were recently hacked. Those affected are now more vulnerable to have money stolen via the Internet.

This cyberattack was also directed at GCKey which is an online access to many government services.

In mid-August, it was reported by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation that 11,200 Canadians had their CRA account hacked. Hackers were able to change individual’s bank account information. Plus, the hackers will have access to passwords. This is significant because many people use the same password for various accounts.

This has disaster written all over it for two reasons.

First, because the hackers created a new bank account for those unsuspecting Canadians, money potentially could be stolen and because people are not aware that a new bank account exists it will not be monitored.

Second, now that these hackers have some of Canadians’ passwords, they can go exploring the Internet to see what other accounts they can access for the purpose of stealing your money.

This should act as a major warning to all of us to be extra careful to protect ourselves against hacking and cyber theft.

The ability and tenacity of these crooks to hack the CRA computers is mind-boggling. In my opinion, the federal government will use significant resources to attempt to catch those responsible.

If they can target the federal government, they certainly could have the ability to target individual Canadians.

Dr. Ali Ghorbani, Director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity, suggested that anyone who has been hacked should immediately change their passwords for other accounts.

If you have not been a target of a cybersecurity breach do not consider yourself lucky. It will likely happen in the future.

Dr. Ghorbani said when it comes to cyberattacks, it is not a matter of if but when.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through