Thousands of online government services user accounts in Canada have recently been compromised during cyber-attacks, authorities said Saturday.
The attacks targeted the GCKey program, used in a press release by some 30 federal departments and Canada Revenue Agency accounts, the Secretariat of the Treasury Board of Canada explained.
The 9,041 GCKey account holders’ passwords and usernames “were acquired fraudulently, and used to try to access government services,” the authorities said.
All accounts affected were cancelled.
In this and another attack, approximately 5,500 Canada Revenue Agency accounts were hacked, the authorities said, adding that access to those accounts was blocked to protect taxpayer information.
The government and federal police launched an investigation to determine if there were any breaches of privacy and whether information was obtained from those accounts, the authorities said.
As of the beginning of August, according to the CBC, a number of Canadians have confirmed that their financial information related to their Canada Revenue Agency accounts has been changed.
Payments related to the Canadian Emergency Aid, a financial assistance program created by the government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, were also released without their request in their names.