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<span class="articleLocation”>Canada’s federal government said on Monday that
its statistics agency was hacked last week and its website plus
several other government portals were taken offline to fix a
major security vulnerability.
Statistics Canada took down the website late on Thursday
night soon after discovering “unauthorized access” to its
server, which the agency said does not contain any personal or
A software flaw exposed the website to hackers and the
Canadian websites have since been patched and resumed
operations, officials said.
While the sites, which also included the Canada Revenue
Agency, had the potential to be exploited, there is no evidence
that any sensitive data had been copied or removed, a Treasury
Board official told a media briefing.
The tax agency going offline prevented Canadians from filing
their taxes online over the weekend, but will likely not cause a
delay in processing and the agency will not extend the filing
deadline, it said.
A vulnerability was found in the widely used Apache open
source software that uses the Java programming language commonly
used to build and maintain websites.
The flaw became widely known last week and can use “remote
code execution” to add malicious files or delete legitimate ones
and security researchers say it is being exploited actively and
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