Canadian Government Issues Orders to Disable Public Websites in Response to Heartbleed Bug

Heartbleed is the bug that’s taken the internet by storm and forced the Canada Revenue Agency to halt online tax filing.

While some key sites, such as Apple services Canadian bank websites, are safe, many—including some government sites—remain vulnerable.

Last night the Chief Information Officer for the Government of Canada issued a directive to all federal government departments to immediately disable public websites that are running unpatched OpenSSL software.

“This action is being taken as a precautionary measure until the appropriate security patches are in place and tested,” says the government. “The Heartbleed bug is affecting many global IT systems in both private and public sector organizations and has the potential to expose private data.”

“We understand that this will be disruptive,” the government added, “but, under the circumstances, this is the best course of action to protect the privacy of Canadians.”