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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.

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.

“Sextortion” scams

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

There has been a resurgence of “sextortion” phishing scams recently but with a slight twist.

“Extortion phishing” or “sextortion” is an aggressive form of a phishing attack that targets potential victims in an e-mail demanding bitcoin in exchange for a promise of non-disclosure of an alleged sexual offence.

The aim of these sextortion e-mails is clear – to force their intended victims to pay up for their silence, or the footage will be shared on social networks. Ultimately this is a typically insidious scam that could easily snare an unsuspecting user.

This variant however has an added twist, in that the phishing scammers are displaying a stolen password (from other websites) that their victims use, to grab their victim’s attention.

It is usually those other websites (e,g,. hotmail, Instagram, Paycity or Facebook) that hackers use to gain access to our data, so changing those passwords are very important.

As in the example below we received earlier this week:
















Several students and personnel say that they have also received similar phishing e-mails, and that password that they had used were displayed in the subject line. They were all concerned that their network account was under attack.

If you receive such a mail, there is little danger to you UNLESS you

  1. respond to the sender
  2. still use that same password for other non-university accounts and use a variation of that password.

If it is an old password that they are displaying, then the danger to you is relatively small, but if you are still using it on a different website or application please change and update immediately.



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