Canada’s government has temporarily closed its online tax services as it investigates a security flaw affecting Internet services worldwide.
The Canada Revenue Agency said the move is a pre-emptive measure to protect the privacy of tax filers, according to a statement released today.
“This is international virus and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” Finance Minister Joe Oliver told reporters today.
Researchers have already pushed out a fix for a security flaw that affects as many as two-thirds of all Internet servers and could let hackers intercept encrypted traffic including e-mail messages, banking information, user names and passwords. The vulnerability has been dubbed Heartbleed.
“We are currently working on a remedy for restoring online services and, at this time, anticipate that services will resume over the weekend,” the revenue ministry said in a statement issued later in the day.
The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement today saying the U.S. was continuing to accept tax returns as normal, and that its computer systems aren’t affected.