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HP Shop – Student laptops available for purchase

In association with GERGA, as HP users, HP Shop has created an Employee Purchase Program (EPP) for Tygerberg students. Students have the opportunity to purchase HP products at prices that are well below HP’s standard pricing. Go to the HP Shop portal and once logged in click on the [EPP Customers tab] in the top […]

Student Technology Programme

The Student Technology Programme (STP) is an initiative that currently offers affordable deals on tablets and laptops to staff and students from Stellenbosch University.
For laptops, Acer Education (selling Acer products), First Technology (selling Dell products) and Pinnacle Africa (selling Lenovo products) have each made some models available, ranging from a basic entry level to high […]

New YouTube BYOD Video Tutorial

A new YouTube Video tutorial was posted last week. It will help students with Apple MacBook laptops to connect and set up their devices for BYOD. The Tutorial is available at this link. (Inetkey does not need to be open to view the tutorial.)
Tutorials for Apple iPads and Android tablets are being currently developed. If […]

BYOD News and update!

We already have 14 BYOD exams behind us already, and overall they has been a great success! More and more students and personnel are seeing that BYOD is the best thing since sliced bread! (well that is a bit of an exaggeration!) What is BYOD, and how can you as a Tygerberg student benefit from this mysterious “thing”? Watch the Youtube tutorial and explanation here. If you want to download the VMWare View 5 client on your device and set your device up from home, then go to this site, if you are not in within the university network. If you are connected to the university of Stellenbosch network then go to the GERGAWifi site to get the VMWare View 5 Clients. They are free! (As in beer).

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BYOD is here!

By now you will have heard of the new acronym at Tygerberg Campus – BYOD, it means “Bring Your Own Device”. This system, enables students to participate in e-assessments (i.e. tests and exams) using their own devices such as laptops, notebooks and tablets.  One of the main benefits of this system, is that e-assessments will no longer be confined to GERGA; large numbers of students will now be able to participate in e-assessments simultaneously, both in GERGA and the new revamped 5th floor examination venue in the Education Block, with no need for multiple sessions written in GERGA’s limited facilities

In order for the implementation to run smoothly, all students with their own devices, irrespective of the kind of device, are required to have their devices set up in GERGA before the end of 2014. It will not be necessary for students to register their devices at Information Technology, and there will be no additional charges for the setup, or accessing the BYOD system.  Students are most welcome to visit GERGA during normal office hours, including the lunch hour, for this purpose. A tutorial has been posted on YouTube that will help students register and setup there own devices for BYOD.

Thank you for your participation in making this exciting new endeavor a success! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the technical aspects of BYOD please contact the personnel at GERGA.

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Virus hoaxes – How to not be suckered

Question: If you received an email from a friend or family member, warning you about a dangerous new virus, and telling you how you could prevent it, would you forward it to all your own contacts?

Answer: Most people would as they like to look out for their friends.

Unfortunately, the majority of these emailed messages are not true. They are virus hoaxes.

The danger with just dismissing these mails as an irritation, is that they actually deflect attention away from real threats. Remember the old fairy tale about the boy who cried wolf?

Spotting A Virus Hoax:

It is a relatively simple task as most of them follow a similar theme in that they will claim to have originated from a large, well-known and legitimate company. This is a deliberate ploy from the writer of the hoax who will be hoping to add an element of authenticity to their claims.

Another way of spotting a virus hoax is to look at the style of the message.

As hoax warnings are not written by bona fide security companies, their wording tends to differ from what you may see in an official press release. Often the warning may be lacking in information:

  • Precisely who is at risk?
  • Which operating system?
  • Which software?
  • Which versions?
  • When will a patch or fix be released?
  • Where on the Internet should you look for it?
  • Why is there no cure?

All of the above details would be present in a legitimate virus warning, but tend to be missing in a hoax.

Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, a virus hoax will always ask you to inform all your friends which is the whole point – the writer wants his bogus message to spread far and wide – just like a real virus!

There are plenty of online sources, such as Snopes and Hoax-Slayer, that examine and confirm/debunk all sorts of rumors.

There is always Google. Typing in some of the terms mentioned in the e-mail. (for example “Good Times”, “Olympic Torch”, “It Takes Guts To Say ‘Yes’ To The Jesus”) in over 90% of the cases you will see that these terms will display as well-known hoaxes!

If you discover that a warning you received is a hoax then be sure to tell whoever passed it on to you in the first place – they’ll then be less likely to pass on the next hoax that turns up.

Don’t automatically believe every email warning that arrives in your inbox. If you are not sure, check with a person who is in the IT business, before sending it off again to all your contacts – perpetuating the problem!

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New Internet Firewall…

On Monday, 2 April 2012, the new Internet firewall for the university was phased in. More than a year later, no official replacement has been forthcoming, and the replacement application that runs from within a browser –  https://inetkey.sun.ac.za – has proved problematic at times with inexplicable “timeouts” and a very slow response. A replacement NXInetkey (still in Beta format) has been created by one of the RGA managers and is available for users to download and install. Personally, I have been using it for since the middle of the year and am most satisfied with the performance of the program. Click on this link to download it and install it. [Note: There is not an Apple Mac or Linux version available yet]

[Addendum] A number of people are reporting that they are getting errors when trying to install InetKey. (MSVCR100.dll errors) This is because they are running very old and outdated versions of Windows XP. Go to these two links to download and install the required files before attempting to re-install InetKey.

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One of the biggest e-mail hacking threats to the university

You might have heard of something called “spear phishing.” It’s an attempt to hack your computer or your accounts, or to con you out of money, by using an email message that’s tailored to you or the university. A phisher piques your interest with a conference invite, resume or invoice. But it’s a ruse to get you to provide sensitive information such as passwords, click on an infectious attachment or website link, or participate in a shady deal.

These personalized, deceitful messages can be crafty and believable enough to slip by spam filters and other security protections and to trick you — the last line of defense.

About one in every 300 emails in 2011 was a phish. University academics and administration personnel should be especially concerned because these emails are surfacing more and more in university mailboxes. Almost 50% percent of university accounts have received a phish in their work email in 2011. Often, these messages are personalized “spear” messages to specific employees, sometimes including details mined from LinkedIn and other social networks to make them more plausible.

Spear phishing emails can be alarmingly effective. Google and a slew of large companies had valuable intellectual property stolen over the last two years in attacks that began with a spear phish of an employee. The university can also be a prime target. Don’t think that because we are an academic institution, we are not important to criminals. There is a lot of valuable and sensitive data that is available within the university network, and that is worth a lot of money.

The rule of thumb that you can use to judge the vast majority of mail that arrives in your mailbox – if it is legitimate or a phishing attack – is whether you know or are associated with the sender. If not and someone out of the blue mails you, then you then the chances that it is a phisher at the other end is very high!

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Computer Theft on the rise again

Did you know that in South Africa approximately 36 000 laptops/notebooks are stolen annually? Of those stolen only 1 in 14 are ever recovered

There are more details on the GERGABlog here.

Over 60% of all South African companies have had computers stolen at some point, but university computer labs have become a favorite target for criminals,  because the computers in these areas are easily accessible and easy to dispose of on the black market.

Here are some useful tips to protect your computer in the office, at your hostel and at home:

• Mark computers and laptops in a permanent way, through the use of microdots, engraving or other means, to entrench and secure their identity. This negatively affects their resale value on the illegal market and is therefore a deterrent for thieves.
• Keep an up-to-date inventory of all computer equipment. The list should include the make and description, serial number and the purchase date, place and price of each item. This can help prevent internal theft and will help the police and insurance companies should a burglary occur.
• Station computers and high-value equipment away from windows on the ground floor.
• Attach or anchor computers to furniture or something solid with security plates or security cables.
• Store laptops in high-security cabinets or in a safe when not in use.
• Fit alarms to computers. Some of these fit inside computers and sound if the equipment is moved. Others, called ‘loop’ alarms have a cable which passes through the equipment and which sounds if it is broken.
• Make sure all employees know not to leave laptops unattended and in full view.
• Employees should be encouraged to take laptops home or lock them up safely at the end of the working day.


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GERGA’s Mailing Lists

GERGA’s mailing lists are online. Please take note of the appropriate addresses: (There are some guidelines to abide by.)

The Complete list…

  • hippokrates (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Hippokrates students
  • huisfrancie (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Huis Francie van Zijl students
  • kerkenberg (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Kerkenberg students
  • meerhoff (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Meerhoff students
  • tsr (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements to all students from the TSR.
  • tygfirstyears (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg first year students
  • tygmedics2 (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg MBChB II students
  • tygmedics3 (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg MBChB III students
  • tygmedics4 (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg MBChB IV students
  • tygmedics5 (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg MBChB V students
  • tygmedics6 (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg MBChB VI students
  • tygpso (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all OSLER PSO students
  • tygdiet (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg Dietetics students.
  • tygphysio (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg Physiotherapy students.
  • tygot (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg Occupational Therapy students.
  • tygspeech (at) sympa.sun.ac.za – Announcements for all Tygerberg Speech Therapy students.

You can access the actual mail server that controls all these lists.
How to subscribe to one of the mailing lists…

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SA’s biggest spammers named and shamed

ISPA names and shames South Africa’s biggest spammers and email address resellers in their Hall of Shame.

The South African Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) updated their “Spam Hall of Shame” recently, naming and shaming the country’s spammers and e-mail address resellers.

Until recently it was mainly the embarrassment of appearing on this list which made it a deterrent to spammers, but an announcement by a local firm that it is using this data in fighting spam changes the game.

Pinpoint SecureMail said that they are integrating the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) Hall of Shame anti-spam watchlist in their e-mail protection software. According to Yossi Hasson, managing director of Pinpoint SecureMail development company SYNAQ, this means that all companies listed on the ISPA spam Hall of Shame are immediately given an extra weighting on SYNAQ’s spam algorithms and are quarantined.

In the first three weeks following the ISPA Hall of Shame integration into Pinpoint SecureMail, SYNAQ identified and blocked 146,926 spam messages sent out by companies included in the list.

The latest spammers and email address resellers listed in ISPA’s spam hall of shame are as follows…


South African spammers:

  1. Dynamic Seminars
  2. New Heights 1268 / Jaco Derksen
  3. SA Webs (not SA Web Design, see note below)
  4. Ketler Presentations
  5. Brain Power
  6. Worldclass Mobile aka Marketing House
  7. World Class Products
  8. Kaleidoscope Advertising and eMarketing
  9. The Peer Group
  10. The SA Consumer Initiative
  11. Pinny Barak – Bizweb
  12. Promo Mail SA
  13. Greycell cc / Bad Credit Loans
  14. Eddy Wines
  15. Jake The Transporter
  16. Drive Car Sales / Justgroup-Africa
  17. No More Debt / Debt Free Living
  18. Marketing No
  19. Body and Min
  20. SA Passport
  21. Front Foot Events
  22. Plum Solutions
  23. Eezi Marketing
  24. Craig Sneeden C2IT
  25. Winners Circle
  26. Richard Catto
  27. Jimmie Somers
  28. South African Centre for Health Management cc
  29. African Experience Golf Tours
  30. FiF 247 Information Services
  31. Kevin Croft
  32. Tom Goldgamer
  33. Top In
  34. Master Lists
  35. Bulk eMail services
  36. IITA
  37. Kidz Memoriez
  38. Bidding Buzz
  39. Grunder Marketing
  40. SaveHost
  41. WebSites4SA – Johan Steyn
  42. Flossnet.org.za
  43. Marketing Counts
  44. Manhattan Hotel

Address resellers:

  1. Mark Tribelhorn
  2. Affordable Construction
  3. Rain Marketing
  4. Peter Van Wyk – Media Online (not The Media Online, see note below)
  5. Mandy Simone
  6. Timothy Heston
  7. Jonathan Schoeman: BP Media & SMSCity
  8. Verosha Bisnath
  9. ListSA
  10. Email Marketing South Africa
  11. Web Marketing Today
  12. All Things SA
  13. Data Corp SA
  14. Trinity Designs
  15. Trevor Jones
  16. MailMagic
  17. DataInc
  18. Jannie Pretorius, Group3Properties
  19. Silent G
  20. Michael Fraser, Pink Soda Marketing
  21. Graham Naude, Eezi Marketing
  22. Marketing Now
  23. Abram Morake
  24. Aqua Direct Marketing
  25. Master Lists SA
  26. Bulk eMail services
  27. marketing.counts@gmail.com
  28. Tony Baker – SA Data Marketing
  29. Lowveld Media

From MyBroadband.co.za

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USB Flashdisks and virusses

The problem with USB flashdisks is that they are easily infected with virusses and spyware! USB Flashdisks are popular with almost every student and personnel out there because they offer a compact storage solution for carting around work projects, personal documents and files

Because these drives are so popular and generally get used to move data between multiple systems frequently, they are also a prime target for attackers as means to get infections spread around with you doing most of the work for them.

Virusses that  target USB Flashdisks are usually designed so that they do not affect your computer directly, but once an external drive or other storage based device is plugged in, the virus goes to work and transfers malicious code to the device without you even knowing that it is taking place – now your flashdisk has become the attackers tool!

Flashdisk virusses can be used to steal your personal information, sensitive documents, allow external access to the infected system, or even spread an annoying virus to the university network via network shares – the possibilities are limitless.

So what can you do about protecting yourself against such activity?

  • Keep personal and business USB drives separate.
  • Use and maintain security software, and keep all software up to date
  • Do not plug an unknown USB drive into your computer.
  • Do not lend your USB drive to anybody.

Panda Security have released a small tool to immunise your USB flashdisks against most common malware infections.

It is called USB Vaccine and can be downloaded here: (intranet access only)

USB Vaccine

Also available on the Internet here:

USB Vaccine
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Is it a Virus or not?

Although there are thousands of computer viruses discovered each year, there are still some that only exist in the imaginations of the public and the press.


A virus hoax is a false warning about a computer virus. Typically, the warning arrives in an e-mail that comes from a colleague or a friend or associate. These notes are usually forwarded to many people at a time and they will typically suggest that the recipient forward the “warming” to as many people as possible. If you get a message about a new virus, you can check it out by asking the Information Technology HelpLine or a skilled computer user that keeps up with viruses and virus hoaxes. If someone sends you a note about a virus that you learn is a virus hoax, reply to the sender that the virus warning is a hoax.

Below is a link to a comprehensive list of viruses that DO NOT EXIST, despite rumor of their creation and distribution. You will need your NXInetkey to be open to access the page.

F-Secure’s Virus Hoax List

Please ignore any messages received regarding the supposed “viruses” or “promotional gimmicks” listed above and do not pass on any messages about them. They all contain bogus information, and are intended only to frighten or confuse users. Do not forward or pass these messages on as it only serves to further propagate them. There are better things to do with your time than forward on hoax messages.

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