• Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives


Phasing out of generic IT email addresses

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Until now we have used a selection of generic email addresses for enquiries from staff and students. In previous years these mailboxes were attended to manually, but in recent years, with the implementation of the ICT Partner Portal, they have been set up to automatically log a request.

For example, if you emailed to enquire about hardware components, your email would automatically log a request for information on your name on our platform. Likewise, if you emailed to contact the IT Service Desk, it would log a request on your name. 

However, soon this will no longer be the case. These generic addresses will be phased out gradually and the only way of requesting a service or information will be to log a request on the ICT Partner Portal. (Also see our FAQs on logging a request)

Above mentioned applies to the following email addresses:

If you have any enquiries please log a request on our ICT Partner Portal.

Sending emails to large groups

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Occasionally it is necessary to send emails to external students or other large groups of people who are not part of the sun domain. If you are currently using Outlook distribution lists we recommend that you switch to the much more user-friendly and functional Sympa mailing list management platform.

The reason for this is that Microsoft has started to limit the number of emails a sun email address can send to to 30 external email addresses per minute. Therefore, if you send to more recipients, Microsoft automatically blocks your account as their attempt to prevent spam. More detailed information on Microsoft’s policies regarding email limits, can be found on their website.

For many years the university has been using Sympa as mass mailing solution successfully. In fact, many of our staff and students use it to administer their lists. 

Sympa is a mailing list management (MLM) software and has its roots in the academic computing community in France. Its name, which is an acronym for Système de Multi-Postage Automatique (i.e. Automatic Mailing System), also means “nice” or “friendly” in French. We’re not sure exactly why the French decided to call their mailing list system “nice”, but we can confirm that it is “friendly” to use.

By using Sympa as a platform for your group emails, you will have better control over your emails and access to handy functions such as:

  • appoint one or several moderators;
  • manage subscriptions and unsubscriptions;
  • add a shared document web space at the subscribers’ disposal;
  • answer questions from subscribers and potential subscribers about the list
  • read the list archive;
  • search in the message archive;
  • review members of the list;

As you can see, Sympa offers much more functionality than your normal Outlook distribution list. Any staff member can use Sympa, simply go to
If you need any assistance in setting up your Sympa distribution list, please log a request for assistance on the ICT Partner Portal.

Unsubscribe from Cortana notifications

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Recently Microsoft activated an automatic status update which is sent to students and staff. According to the company new Microsoft 365 experiences, such as the Briefing email and Play My Emails, were enabled using Cortana enterprise services. These features are currently available for Stellenbosch University staff and students.

However, you can unsubscribe from these emails by clicking unsubscribe at the bottom of the email or unsubscribe at

Phishing scam from a forged email

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

We are almost all in lock down and less careful with cyber security. The scammers know this and are launching numerous attacks taking advantage of the “work-from-home” situation we find ourselves in. A number of personnel have reported getting e-mails from “Prof. Jimmy Volmink” asking for assistance and are not spotting the tell-tale signs of a phishing scam.

Here is the mail:

  1. Notice that although it looks like Prof Volmink sent it, the email address is not correct.
  2.  Secondly Prof Jimmy is a very approachable person, but he is always professional in his communication so he would never say “Are you free for now”. Nor would he say something like this: (if you did respond to his mail)
    “I am currently in a meeting and I don’t know when the meeting will round off. I would have called you but phone is not allowed. I will want you to handle something for me right away and I will be glad if you can do that for me as soon as possible”.

This is a spear-phishing attack where an institution is directly attacked by impersonating prominent or public figures within the university (like the Dean) to gain access to the university network. This is an especially effective means of attack with everybody at home in lock down, where our guard is down and we are more relaxed. There was a very similar attack in September 2019, using the same tactics.  

Prof Volmink’s account has not been compromised. Phishers are just trying to fool us into thinking that prominent members in our leadership are emailing us asking for assistance, but they are not. It is a scam.

Over the next few days be on the lookout for similar mails that look like they coming from other people within the university.

If you do get mail like this be sure to report it to IT ASAP so they can block the attack and help people who have become victims.

Please immediately report such phishing scams and spam by reporting it on the ICT Partner Portal.​​

Go to​​

Fill in your information and add the email as an attachment. Your request will automatically be logged on the system.​​

If you have accidentally clicked on the link and already given any personal details to the phishers it is vitally important that you immediately go to the USERADM page (either  or ) and change your password immediately. Make sure the new password is completely different, and is a strong password that will not be easily guessed, as well as changing the passwords on your social media and private e-mail accounts, especially if you use the same passwords on these accounts.


Phishing attack from compromised staff account with attached “Secure Message”

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

With most students and personnel all working from home during the national lockdown, and with the reduced security (and watchfulness) of home computers and personnel/students in their home environment, and with many forced to use unfamiliar means of communication and collaboration like Teams, Zoom, Skype and Skype For Business, the environment is ripe for exploitation by phishers.

The following e-mail (with an infected attachment) is making its rounds at the moment from  a staff email.

If you get an email that look like the following do not open or respond to it. It is quite likely that the personnel doesn’t even know his account is compromised.

Please be careful when opening up attachments “sent” by colleagues especially if they are unannounced or the e-mail makes you feel a bit suspicious. Always trust your instincts.


© 2013-2021 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s) and content contributor(s). The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Stellenbosch University.