Service Announcements

Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Resolved: Problem affecting UCT's Single Sign-On service

Our engineers have identified and resolved the problem affecting the UCT Single Sign-On (SSO) service.

You should once again be able to access all university services online.

Our engineers are continuing to monitor the situation. Should you experience any issues accessing a service, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk.

Previous message sent at 9:44 a.m.

ICTS is aware of a problem affecting UCT's Single Sign-On (SSO) service, which is used to minimise the number of times you have to enter your username and password when accessing university services online.

You may experience issues accessing some of these services.

Our engineers are currently investigating.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Problem affecting UCT's Single Sign-On (SSO) service

ICTS is aware of a problem affecting UCT's Single Sign-On (SSO) service, which is used to minimise the number of times you have to enter your username and password when accessing university services online.

You may experience issues accessing some of these services.

Our engineers are currently investigating.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Network access affected at some UCT sites

We are aware of a problem causing network outages at the following locations:

 

  • UCT Administration (Brickfield Road)
  • Rochester Residence
  • Valkenberg Hospital
  • Groote Schuur Residence
  • Fairland House
  • South African Astronomical Observatory (Observatory)
  • SKA

The problem is due to an outage at the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR). Our technicians are working with our Internet Service Provider, TENET, to resolve the issue.

Friday, 17 December 2021
Important Windows updates to be implemented this Sunday (19 December)

Microsoft has released critical patches to protect UCT’s Windows server environment. ICTS engineers will install these patches to our Windows servers on Sunday 19th December 2021 between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

During this period, there may be brief interruptions to some ICT services.

We thank you for your patience as we conduct these important updates.

Vulnerability impacting servers, applications, and services using Apache

In a separate matter, over the past few days, there have been global news reports of the Apache Log4Shell vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) impacting Apache Log4j. Nearly a third of the world’s internet servers is hosted on Apache, while many IT services and applications also use this open-source software. This makes it one of the worst cybersecurity events in recent times.

Cybercriminals can take advantage of this vulnerability by executing code to take control of affected servers.

What do I need to do?

The UCT Computer Security Incident Response Team, along with ICTS, has taken the necessary security measures to ensure that UCT servers, applications, and software that uses Apache are secure and protected. We are also continuing to monitor the constantly-changing situation.

For those who are running Apache servers, please apply the necessary security patches to ensure that they are protected.

If you’re not running Apache servers, you don’t need to do anything for now. We will, however, provide you with further updates should the situation change.

Monday, 29 November 2021
Mimecast tool to protect @myUCT mailboxes from 30 November

Your myUCT mailbox is currently protected by the Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection platform, which blocks millions of unsolicited emails from being delivered to your mailbox.

As of 30 November 2021, your mailbox will instead be protected by the Mimecast online email management tool. This is the same service that protects staff and third party mailboxes at UCT.

How does it work?

All incoming email that passes through UCT’s email gateways go through aggressive security checks. This ensures that you only receive legitimate emails. In some cases, though, a few spam emails may get through, and legitimate emails could be blocked.

You don’t need to worry about missing out on legitimate emails, though: when Mimecast blocks an email, it is placed in your Personal On Hold queue for 30 days. You will then receive a notification, asking you to either Release, Block or Permit the message.

What do I need to do?

There is nothing that you need to do in preparation for the changeover. After the change, you will only need to take action when you get an email similar to the one below from postmaster@uct.ac.za:

Be aware of the emails you receive

Cybercriminals use all types of tactics to get you to action their emails. So, before you click the link or open an attachment, even if it appears to be from someone you know, ensure that the email address is correct. If in doubt, rather contact the sender directly.

Most importantly, never reply to emails, messages, or calls that request personal information – especially usernames and passwords.

Thursday, 25 November 2021
The ICTS Front Office is temporarily relocating

The ICTS Front Office, which is currently located in the Computer Science Building on Upper Campus, will temporarily move to a new location as a result of renovation work in the building.

There may be a disruption to services at the current ICTS Front Office on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, as the team relocates to their new location.

Where will the Front Office move to?

From Wednesday 1st December 2021, you can visit the ICTS Front Office in the basement of the Leslie Social Science Building on upper campus. Here, our consultants can assist you with a number of services.

The office will remain in this location until further notice, as renovation work proceeds in its original space.

Please adhere to COVID-19 protocols when visiting the office

  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • A limited number of customers are allowed inside the Front Office at one time.
  • Practice social distancing when queuing.
  • Sanitise your hands when entering the office.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new location.

Monday, 8 November 2021
ICTS Downloads moving to Microsoft Teams on 9th November

The ICTS Downloads page has moved to Microsoft Teams. As a result, ICTS Downloads was unavailable during the migration – from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday 9th November 2021.

How does this affect me?

The ICTS Downloads link (https://ictsdownloads.uct.ac.za) will remain unchanged.

  1. To access software after the migration, navigate to https://ictsdownloads.uct.ac.za.
  2. If prompted, enter your UCT staff/studentnumber@wf.uct.ac.za and password.
  3. Once you’re in the ICTS Downloads site, you will see the software applicable to your UCT role (i.e., staff member, student, or third party).

Should you require any assistance, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk using one of the following methods:

Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Network outage caused by fire at New Groote Schuur Hospital

Following the fire at New Groote Schuur Hospital last week (see original message below), hospital management only handed over the fire-affected area on Friday 29th October. ICTS then requested a site survey, and on 2nd November, a contractor was assigned to repair the affected fibre cables.

The repair work is due to commence on 3rd November, and we hope to have network connectivity restored by the end of 5th November 2021.

Previous message: 27th October 2021

ICTS is aware of a network outage at several Faculty of Health Sciences buildings. This is due to a fire that broke out in New Groote Schuur Hospital LT1 and LT2. There is extensive damage to the power cabling infrastructure, resulting in no network connection at:

  • Old Main Building
  • Outpatients Building
  • Maternity Building
  • Radiotherapy L-Block
  • J-Block

Some network switches at New Groote Schuur Hospital as well as Carinus and Clarendon residences are also affected.

Once the areas are deemed safe, ICTS engineers will conduct an assessment to determine the extent of the damage to the network cabling infrastructure.

We will provide further updates once we have more information.

We thank you for your patience during this time.

Thursday, 7 October 2021
McAfee updates to commence from 13 October 2021

As we rely more and more on technology to stay connected during these times, it is important that we keep our hardware and software up to date.

Cyberattacks are also happening more frequently, which is why we will be updating the McAfee anti-malware solution to ensure that your UCT-owned machine and the UCT network remains protected.

 

What do I need to do?

From Wednesday, 13 October 2021, ICTS will update the McAfee Agent for all supported Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. These updates will address current security-related issues, improve performance, and provide support for the latest Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.

Follow the steps outlined below to ensure McAfee is updated on your device:

  1. Connect to the UCT network:

 I’m on campus

I’m working/studying remotely

The update is automatically installed when you connect to the UCT network.

Please connect your UCT-owned device to the UCT VPN to allow the update to proceed.

  1. Once you’re connected, the update automatically installs, so you can continue working.
    Note: Notifications may occur indicating the update is underway. You can ignore these as they will disappear once the installation is completed.
  1. If you’re working remotely, we recommend that you stay connected to the VPN until the installation is complete. It should take about an hour to install, but this is dependent on your connection. If you’re using mobile data, we recommend that you rather connect to the VPN after midnight so that you use your night time data allocation.
  1. Once the installation is completed, restart your computer. You can either restart it immediately or at a more convenient time for you.

 

McAfee home edition updates available from ICTS Downloads

As a UCT staff member or student, you can also use McAfee for free on your personal desktop computers and laptops. The latest home editions are now available for installation from ICTS Downloads.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Resolved: Problem affecting UCT network

The problem affecting the UCT network has been resolved. Our engineers found that an issue with the data centre firewall was the cause.

All IT systems and services have been restored and are operating normally.

Should you still experience any issues, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk using one of the following methods:

Previous message sent at 13:14

ICTS is aware of a problem affecting the UCT network. Our engineers are currently investigating.

We will provide an update as soon as we identify the cause of the issue.

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