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Security advisories

Information and cybersecurity attacks are now commonplace in all sectors. As cyberattacks become more advanced we want to ensure that you take all the necessary security measures while working and studying remotely to protect UCT and your digital assets, as well as the networks that you use.

We have created this web article to keep you updated on security risks and provide you with recommendations to stay protected.

Remember these security tips

While ICTS has put the necessary security measures in place to protect the UCT network, it is up to each of us to ensure that cybercriminals don’t gain unauthorised entry via one of our devices or home networks. Practice good cybersecurity hygiene by following our recommended security tips.

Find out more what you can do to protect your home network by viewing our security guide.

Identified cyber attacks

March 2021: NAT Slipstreaming attack

Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of the fact that many sectors are continuing to allow their staff and students, where applicable, to work and study remotely.

The network address translation (NAT) slipstreaming attack is one such instance. Cybercriminals target home WiFi routers’ firewalls and network address translation (NAT), which modifies one IP address into another.

The way the attack works is that a cybercriminal tries to get you to visit a malicious website while you’re on your home network. These links are either sent via phishing emails or are hidden in online adverts. Once you’re on the website, the cybercriminal runs a script that fools your home router into divulging information about your device and those that are also connected to your home network. These devices are then all put at risk as cybercriminals can access and take control of it without the owners’ knowledge.

This is especially risky for devices that do not have security capabilities allowing them to be easily accessed and used to the cybercriminal’s advantage. So, if you’re using a mobile device or computer that doesn’t have anti-virus installed or hasn’t been updated and connect to the UCT network via your home router, this puts the university at risk.

What can I do to stay protected?

Google, Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft have released security patches for their respective web browsers, which are Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge.

We do, however, recommend that you ensure your home networks are secure to prevent it from becoming a target.

You can start by disabling the application-level gateway (ALG), which allows devices that use VoiP (Voice over IP) to communicate via the different IP addresses.

We have provided a general guide to disable ALG on your home router. For specific instructions for your device, please visit your vendor’s website.

TP-link Deco

This option includes of a number of mini units that can be placed around your home to provide seamless WiFi and prevent any dead zones. For this option you need to disable SIP ALG via the Deco application.

Open the Deco App and click More > Advanced >SIP ALG to disable this option.

D-Link routers

These instructions can be applied to most WiFi routers.

  1. Open your web browser and enter http://dlinkrouter.local or in the address bar and press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Enter your login details.
  3. On the D-Link landing page click the Features tab > Firewall.
  4. On the Firewall Settings page click Advanced Settings towards the bottom of the screen.
  5. Click SIP to disable SIP ALG. Click Save.

Additional resources