KARACHI: As the crackdown on Axact and its fake degree operations continues, it has been learnt that the websites of the purported online colleges run by the controversial IT company are hosted on the same server, with the same address and telephone listings.
Feeding the domain addresses of the websites of the colleges run by Axact – a list of which was released along with the New York Times report that prompted FIA action against the IT company – to a domain registry tool such as Whois.com revealed that most of them were hosted by http://www.directnic.com, a server run by DNC Holdings Inc.
The company is registered with the address PO Box 6592 in Los Angeles, California, with the phone number +1.5043550082. It is also listed against an alternative address – PO Box 1979 – in Panama City, with the phone number +507.7798796.
The websites of the Axact-run online colleges hosted by DNC Holdings’ server include AlfordHighSchool.com, mcgrawuniversity.com, nixonuniversity.com, northernportuniversity.com, mountlincolnuniversity.com, mcforduniversity.com, olwauniversity.com, queensbayuniversity.com, walforduniversity.com, rochvilleuniversity.org and harveyuniversity.com.
All these websites share the addresses and phone numbers of DNC Holdings. Some of these were even created on the same day – June 6, 2013 – scrutiny using Whois.com revealed.
In addition to hosting the websites of such a large number of universities and schools, DNC Holdings’ server also hosts the websites of some of the purported accreditation bodies which sanctioned them. These include the Association for Accreditation of Business Schools & Programs (http://aabsp.com) and the International Accreditation Board for Business Studies (http://iabbs.org).
The server also hosts other sites such as universal-onlinedegrees.com and affordableaccrediteddegrees.com.
It also appears Axact did not expand its degree mill to the Middle East until 2013. Websites for alkhaleejuniversity.net, alarabuniversity.com, alkhalifaamericanuniversity.com, americangulfuniversity.com, americanmideastuniversity.com and arabcontinentaluniversity.com were created between March and September 2013. Unsurprisingly, all these universities too were hosted by DNC Holdings on directnic.com, with the same PO box and phone numbers.
The websites of corresponding Middle East oriented accreditation boards, such as the Gulf Accreditation Council (http://gacc.me) and the Gulf Bureau of Higher Education (http://www.gulfbhe.me) were also registered by the DNC Holdings’ server.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2015.