Service Announcements

Friday, 15 March 2019
Emergency Windows update: your computer may restart from 1:00 p.m. today

Microsoft released a number of critical security updates last night to protect Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 machines from any new cyber-attacks.

ICTS will release these patches via WSUS today (Friday, 15 March 2019) at 1:00 p.m.

Your computer will automatically restart shortly after 1:00 p.m. today

These updates will automatically be installed on staff computers who use the Windows operating system. Apple and Linux users will not be affected by this update.

Once the updates are installed, your Windows computer may be forcibly restarted to apply these critical patches to the operating system.

Please ensure that you save your work before 1:00 p.m., and expect that your computer may restart shortly after this time.

We thank you for your patience during this important emergency maintenance.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
New phishing attacks: Don’t open the attachments

We are aware of new phishing attacks currently doing the rounds on campus. The emails – sent from UCT email accounts – refer to financial transactions – such as proof of payment, clients wanting to place more orders, invoices, and remittance advices. These emails include malicious HTML or MS Word attachments.

The messages have been sent to some UCT staff and students and are attempts by criminals to access your personal information by getting you to open malicious files.

What do I do?

  • If you did click the attachment in the email, DO NOT enter your details on the page that requests your details. Instead, please close the page and run a full antivirus scan of your machine. Then, on a device that you know to be free of malware and infection, change your password

What happens if I clicked the attachment and entered my details?

If you've entered your details, your account may be compromised. This puts the UCT network and UCT assets at risk. Please:

  1. On a device that you haven’t previously used to access the UCT network, change your password
  2. Send an email to the IT Helpdesk informing them that your details were compromised, but that you have changed your password.
  3. Run a full antivirus scan on the machine you used to enter your details.

Please remember:

  • Don't ever reply to emails that request personal information – especially usernames and passwords.
  • NEVER share your password with anyone – not even an ICTS representative.
  • Do not open attachments unless you can verify the sender and the nature of the attachment.
  • Don't open emails of unknown origin.
  • Don't click on links in emails if you cannot recognise where the link directs you.
  • Don't reply to spammers asking them to remove you from their mailing list.  Replying just confirms your email address as valid, which encourages them to send you more spam.
  • Don't forward chain letters or marketing material.
  • Report any incidence of this to the IT Helpdesk at You can report any other cybersecurity issues to the UCT CSIRT at
Friday, 18 January 2019
Windows 10 machines to receive feature upgrade to version 1803

All UCT machines currently running older versions of Windows 10 (e.g. versions 1607, 1703, 1709) will need to be upgraded to the tested and approved version of Windows 10. On Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, version 1803 will be released via the WSUS service.

What do I need to do?

  • Schedule the update for a time when you will be out of the office, as it can take between 2 and 4 hours (see instructions below). We recommend scheduling the update to take place after you have left work for the day.

How will it work?

On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, you will receive a notification on your machine saying:

  • Important updates are pending, or
  • Upgrade your edition of Windows.

 If you do not receive a notification, please check for Windows updates:
1. Go to the Windows Settings panel by clicking the start button and then the gear icon.

2. Select Update and Security > Check for updates.

3. When the update is displayed, click to start the download process.

4. Once downloaded, schedule the restart for the update to run, as per the instructions below.

Schedule restart

1. Go to the Windows Settings panel by clicking the start button and then the gear icon.

2. Select Update and Security > Restart options.

3. Select the time and date for your machine to restart.

Once your updates have been installed and your computer restarted, you will be running version 1803 of Windows 10, with new features and benefits.

Get help

Should you encounter a problem with the upgrade, please contact the IT Helpdesk:

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
UCT Identity Vault to be upgraded

ICTS engineers will be upgrading the UCT Identity Vault to a later version, which offers additional benefits and features, over the next few days. The vault links various administrative systems at UCT, and acts as a repository for user data needed for providing access to the various connected systems for staff, students and third parties making use of the UCT network.

Access to ICT services will be affected during the upgrade

The identity vault is divided into three systems, of which each will be upgraded separately.

  • Thursday, 10 January 2019: The authorisation system, which includes the synchronisation of passwords via Password Self-Service, will be backed up from 07:00 – 07:30. The upgrade will then commence and is scheduled to be completed by 11:00 a.m.

Should you change your password during this time, your new password may take a bit longer than normal to sync to the various systems and services.

  • Sunday, 13 January 2019: Both the UCT login system and the identity vault will be upgraded. All services that require you to log on with your UCT username and password will be unavailable from 08:00 – 08:30 to allow ICTS engineers to back up existing information.

Thereafter, both systems will be upgraded, which may result in intermittent access to some ICT services until about 15:00.

What do I need to do?

You are not required to do anything during the upgrade. Should you experience any issues accessing an ICT service once these updates are completed, please log an online call with the IT Helpdesk.

We thank you for your patience while we conduct this important upgrade.

Friday, 4 January 2019
Problem affecting some IT services

ICTS is currently addressing a problem affecting some IT services on campus.

Our engineers have found that the problem is on the SQL cluster and are currently putting a workaround in place.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Slow access to PeopleSoft via Vula

ICTS is currently addressing a problem affecting access to PeopleSoft. This is due to the high number of students accessing their results on PeopleSoft via Vula.

Students to access marks via PeopleSoft – not Vula

If you’re a UCT student, please access your marks by going directly to the PeopleSoft website at

ICTS engineers are currently implementing a workaround to allow UCT staff to access PeopleSoft.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Problem affecting the UCT Third Party System

ICTS is aware of a problem affecting the UCT Third Party System, which is currently unavailable.

Our engineers are investigating the cause of the problem.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018
ICTS to provide limited services this Friday

ICTS will be running limited services on Friday, 23 November 2018 from 10:00 a.m. onwards. This is due to ICTS staff attending a function off campus.

The IT Helpdesk and Classroom Support Services Helpdesk will remain open on skeleton staff. The ICTS Front Office will close at 10:00 a.m. on the day.

Should you require IT assistance during this time, you can log a call using one of the following methods:

Monday, 5 November 2018
Extended ICTS maintenance slot on 18th November

Each month, ICTS performs critical maintenance to help ICT components and subsystems operate effectively and reliably. The work is done during our scheduled maintenance slots, which are explained in this article.

November slot extended

The upcoming slot on Sunday, 18th November 2018, has been extended to accommodate critical work needed as part of the UCT Network Renewal Project. The slot will run from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. 

Affected services

Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot.

Plan your conferences and teaching around the schedule

Please remember to consult the Scheduled ICTS Maintenance slots for 2018 before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc. that require ICT services.

For more information, see our article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots

Monday, 29 October 2018
Intermittent problem affecting ICTS Downloads page

We are aware of an intermittent problem affecting the ICTS Downloads page. Some UCT staff and students are unable to access this page at certain times.

ICTS technicians are currently working to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

Should you experience a problem accessing ICTS Downloads, please log a call with the IT Helpdesk using one of the following methods: