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Inetkey: the end is near

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

On Monday, 2nd December 2019, the Council of Stellenbosch University approved the budget for 2020, which introduces a new model to provide the required funding for internet capacity for the entire university. In the past, Inetkey served as gatekeeper to keep track of individual internet usage for staff and students, to facilitate collection of the necessary funds to afford the internet service for the university community.

Will Inetkey disappear completely? Not yet.

From January, Inetkey will no longer collect usage data for billing purposes. In effect, there won’t be any charge per use anymore.

However, Inetkey serves other technical purposes, apart from funding the internet service. User identification is a basic requirement to keep track of who used how much internet, but there are also some security and auditing requirements for which the university need to collect basic information about internet traffic. So, for the time being, Inetkey will still be required to access to the internet, but without any individual charges.

Some historical facts:

Internet cost charge-out used to be common practice at most SA institutions since the 90’s. Bandwidth was a scarce resource, and universities needed to manage usage carefully to avoid service collapse and other negative experiences.

From 2000 onwards, internet bandwidth gradually became more affordable, as can be seen from rate changes since 2001. The university introduced three rates per day, A, B and C, to allow discounts during off-peak times. Eventually, the rates stabilised, and as the costs dropped, the university decided to increase available capacity regularly.

In 2001 you paid R1-50 per MB (megabytes) of internet data. Over the past 18 years this decreased to the current 2c. At the same time our internet capacity increased. In 2008 total capacity was a mere 0.4 Gbps (gigabits per second) — at the moment we’re running at 1.7 Gbps and this could increase next year. 

When will Inetkey really disappear? The remaining technical functionality of Inetkey will be migrated to other mechanisms, such as a new firewall planned to be procured in the first half of 2020. We expect the final burial of Inetkey later in 2020.

Adobe licences update

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Users of Adobe Acrobat software may have noticed a pop-up notification stating that their licence will be expiring at the end of November.

This is an administration issue on Adobe’s side and can easily be rectified for you to continue working seamlessly. If you don’t update your licence, you will no longer be able to read or edit pdf documents with the Adobe Acrobat software.

To prevent this from happening, you can do one of the following:

  • Open the following link. You will be prompted to enter your username & password and the licenceupdate.exe file will, depending on your browser, either ask you to run/save or download automatically.
    1. If your browser prompts you to run/save, click run. You might get a notification that Windows considers the file to be unsafe, but you can click more info and click run anyway. Notices will pop up on your screen. In each instance, just click on Yes. The command window will display the new date when Acrobat will expire. Click any key to close the command window.
    2. If your browser automatically downloaded the file, browse to your download folder and double click the licenceupdate.exe file. Follow the steps described above.
  • If you can’t successfully execute the instructions above, please log a request with the subject “Update Adobe licence” on the ICT Partner Portal. Keep in mind that this option will mean a delay in response time. 

 

 

Scheduled IT maintenance: 13-17 December

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Information Technology will be conducting scheduled maintenance on various components of the IT infrastructure over the weekend of 13 December and some downtime can be expected. 

Quarterly, scheduled maintenance will be taking place from Friday, 13 December 17:00 until Tuesday, 17 December at 08:00. Various IT services and systems are affected by this and can be partly or in their entirety, unavailable. Due to the extent of this maintenance and the necessity for thorough testing of systems and services the possibility exists for continued interruptions into the following week.

Please rest assured that we will try our best to limit interruptions to a minimum. For inquiries please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367 or log a request on the ICT Partner Portal.

How do I report phishing?

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

You’ve received a suspicious email, what should you do with it? Firstly, don’t click on any links. But just as important, send it to us so we can prevent more staff and students falling prey to the scam. We encourage our customers to submit potential phishing examples for review. Using these submissions, the Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) can learn from the analysis of these messages. This collectively helps to improve the level of virus and spam detection.

What is phishing?

Phishing attacks are designed to steal a person’s login and password details so that the cyber criminal can assume control of the victim’s social network, email, and online bank accounts. Seventy percent of internet users choose the same password for almost every web service they use. This is why phishing is so effective, as the criminal, by using the same login details, can access multiple private accounts and manipulate them for their own good. 

More on how to recognise a phishing email. 

Report phishing

  1. On the ICT Partner Portal:
  1. By sending an email:​​
  • Start up a new mail addressed to csirt@sun.ac.za.​​
  • Use the Title “SPAM” (without quotes) in the Subject.​​
  • With this New Mail window open, drag the suspicious spam/phishing mail from your Inbox into the New Mail Window. It will attach the mail as an enclosure* and a small icon with a light yellow envelope will appear in the attachments section of the – New Mail.​​
  • Send the mail.​​

*Spam or phishing examples must be sent in either.EML or .MSG format as an attachment and must not be forwarded. This ensures the original email can be analysed with its full Internet message headers intact. Alternatively, use the mail application to save the email (usually located under File | Save As) as an .EML or .MSG format to a folder location, and attach the saved file to a new email.

Windows 10 upgrades currently ongoing

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Information Technology’s support team identified computers on the university network which is running an outdated version of Windows 10 and could possibly pose a network security risk. To rectify the situation technicians will be performing an in-place upgrade of outdated computers to the latest stable version of Windows 10. Before we proceed with the upgrade, you will be sent an email to explain the situation, as well as a few minor instructions.

The upgrade will happen after hours @19h00 to minimise the impact it will have on your daily tasks, but you will always receive an email beforehand to notify you. For this reason we ask that you save and close all open documents and close all open software on your computer before you leave work in the afternoon. If you have a laptop, please secure it to your desk. 

The desktop/laptop will not need to come to IT for the upgrade since the upgrade will be initiated remotely. No data or software will be removed from the computer.

If you have any enquiries regarding this upgrade, please contact the IT Service Desk.

 

© 2013-2019 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.