GO Transit website is back online, ARC still unavailable after being removed to protect against global internet breach

GO Transit’s website was brought back online on Saturday afternoon after being taken down to protect it from an ongoing cyber vulnerability on Friday, Metrolinx said.

The website was restored after being “updated to protect it from the latest cyber vulnerabilities in web services around the world,” a spokesperson told The Star.

“Metrolinx has been made aware by the Government of Canada of an ongoing cyber vulnerability affecting web services around the world,” the transit agency said in a statement earlier.

The decision to take down the website was “out of caution,” he said, adding that there is no indication that a customer, personal or financial files were compromised.

Customers of the service, which covers the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, had been told that ticketing and scheduling services were available at various locations, such as the Triplinx website.

Metrolinx has provided updates and information to those traveling to Hamilton for the Gray Cup game this weekend.

The Canada Revenue Agency also shut down its systems while it was working “to apply the appropriate security upgrades to our systems,” the agency tweeted Friday evening.

“There is currently no indication that the CRA’s systems have been compromised, or that there has been unauthorized access to taxpayer information due to this vulnerability,” the agency added.

Statistics Canada’s data portal also appeared to be offline for similar reasons. The Star contacted Statistics Canada about the outage and had not yet received a response.

These proactive steps came amid continuing concerns about a serious IT weakness that makes business and government websites vulnerable to data breaches.

The weakness, located in open source software used to run websites, was recently exploited in the online game “Minecraft”.

Experts have said that the extreme ease with which the vulnerability allows an attacker to access a web server – no password required – is what makes it so dangerous.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press.

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