The Motley Fool

48,000 CRA Accounts Might Have Been Hacked

Image source: Getty Images

Cyberattacks were rampant in July and August with the acceleration in credential stuffing activities. Cybercriminals targeted more than 48,000 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) accounts. The Treasury Board of Canada uncovered the suspicious activities in the CRA and GCKey portals.

Investigations by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are ongoing. Affected departments are also coordinating with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to give updates and furnish personal information on compromised accounts.

Modus operandi

Online attackers use the credential stuffing method to obtain personal information. People who reuse usernames and passwords across multiple platforms are often the victims of these hackers. The GCKey was not compromised, although the treasury board revoked 9,300 credentials.

If you’re one of the users contacted by the treasury, register for new credentials to block subsequent or future attacks. The hackers even sell the stolen credentials to the dark web for other criminals to rip-off. You can make use of the SecureKey Concierge, so you can sign in or access 269 government services.

On the CRA portal, there’s evidence of suspicious activities. Chairman and Founder of CyberScout, Adam Levin revealed that COVID-related scams have increased by over 30,000%. Some people give out information to these scammers out of desperation to receive assistance. You’re also vulnerable if you overshare personal details on social media.

Defrauding programs

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reports more than 700 cases of CERB fraud. These hackers steal identities, open accounts in their names, and redirect CERB payments. They were also hitting on people who did not apply for CERB. It could be frustrating if you’re a victim because you need to clear your name and prove you didn’t receive the money.

Data breaches are becoming prevalent and cybercriminals are getting bolder. They can hack a government website to harvest SIN numbers, addresses, and banking information. The CFAC warns about phishing scams through emails and text messages.  Don’t respond to these unsolicited emails or text messages.

Cybercrime fighter

Cybersecurity stock Absolute Software (TSX:ABT) is gaining popularity among stock market investors. The $645.61 million company from Vancouver, Canada, offers endpoint security and data risk management solutions to governments and enterprises across various industries.

The solutions are in Software as a service (SaaS) business model. They are installed in devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computers. Laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Absolute Data and Device Security enable customers to secure endpoints, assess risk and respond to security threats.

Based on a Cybersecurity Ventures Reportcybercrimes will exceed $6 trillion by 2021. Losses can be in the form of stolen money, lost productivity, and damaged data. You can add intellectual property theft and breach in personal and financial information.

In the digital environment, cybersecurity is one of the most vital technologies. It prevents cybercrimes as thwart hackers from compromising sensitive information. Absolute Software will be at the forefront of the fight against cybercriminals. The stock is reasonably priced at $15.20 per share and paying a modest 2.26% dividend.

Don’t fall prey                                                                                     

Times are dangerous, with fraudsters stalking unsuspecting Canadians. The CRA and other government agencies never send e-mails, texts or call people to gather personal information. Similarly, banks don’t inquire about account details.

Speaking of cybercriiminals hacking 48,000 CRA accounts...

This Tiny TSX Stock Could Be the Next Shopify

One little-known Canadian IPO has doubled in value in a matter of months, and renowned Canadian stock picker Iain Butler sees a potential millionaire-maker in waiting...
Because he thinks this fast-growing company looks a lot like Shopify, a stock Iain officially recommended 3 years ago - before it skyrocketed by 1,211%!
Iain and his team just published a detailed report on this tiny TSX stock. Find out how you can access the NEXT Shopify today!

Click here to discover how!

Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.

I consent to receiving information from The Motley Fool via email, direct mail, and occasional special offer phone calls. I understand I can unsubscribe from these updates at any time. Please read the Privacy Statement and Terms of Service for more information.