PETALING JAYA: The website of the US-based Cambridge International University appears to have been hacked.
The university came under scrutiny after Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya admitted that he obtained his degree in business administration from the institution.
Instead of the webpage of the university, visitors are instead directed to a page with a picture of a skull and the words HACKED in red next to it.
"Apologies, but no results were found. Perhaps searching will help find a related post," reads a message at the bottom of the page.
It is not known why any hacker or hacker group would want to take down the website, which has become a treasure trove for journalists seeking to establish its credibility.
Previous trawling of the website revealed pictures of faculty members that seem to have been taken from an online dating site or fashion shoots.
Furthermore, email addresses listed on the website led to server error messages.
Since Marzuki's admission, the institution has come under intense scrutiny and increasing suspicion that it is a “diploma mill” that awards degrees with little or no study.
Attempts by The Star to email multiple faculty and adjunct faculty members for clarification failed when the mail delivery subsystem noted that these email addresses could not be found or the server was unable to receive mail.
It also seemed inconceivable that with 150 programmes offered, the institution, which claimed to have existed since 1990, only had 12 faculty members and only 13 adjunct faculty members listed on the website.
A Google search on the names of each faculty and adjunct faculty member turned up nothing, neither a LinkedIn profile nor research papers published under them.
Cambridge International University had stated on its website that it is not accredited.
Cambridge International University has no affiliation with the prestigious University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
The US-based institution only offers “distance learning” programmes with degree courses costing as low as US$5,000 (about RM20,000) with fees payable via PayPal.