Dear colleagues and students
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is currently investigating the possible compromise of approximately 53 UCT email accounts. Our Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) helpdesk is in the process of making contact with the owners of the possibly compromised email accounts.
The university was alerted to the matter yesterday, 14 October 2020 when two phishing attempts that appeared to be sent from the Vice-Chancellor were identified. The first email is titled Mamokgethi Phakeng shared “UCT Forthcoming Projects” with you and requests that you click the provided link. The second one is titled Projects and Agenda and asks that you open the attached PDF file.
Please do not click on the email link or open the PDF file.
If you receive any of these emails or observe any suspicious activity on your UCT account, please inform the IT Helpdesk immediately by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
ICTS has blocked a number of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that may be linked to the sources of these attempts.
In an environment where many of us are working remotely and are highly dependent on online access it is essential that we are even more vigilant and take all possible steps to protect our online presence. If you have any questions about how to secure your online presence please check the ICTS and CSIRT websites for the latest alerts and further information. If you receive a suspicious email that differs to the ones identified above, please also report it to the IT Helpdesk at email@example.com. You can report any other cybersecurity issues to the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read previous communications:
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COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.