Update: Hackers have broken into the National University of Singapore and made staff usernames, domain information and hashed passwords public.
The institution is Singapore’s “flagship university” and has more than 36,000 students from 100 countries, 16 campuses and thousands of staff.
The Univeristy's head of IT security, Yong Fong Lian, said the affected accounts were local and provided "access to a server which does not contain any sensitive information".
"We have performed investigation and confirmed that hackers infiltrated into the system exploiting an application security loophole. This system is a departmental server containing public data."
"We would like to highlight that the leaked passwords are for local accounts that allow access to the departmental server only. They are not NUSNET accounts and passwords."
The university has reset affected passwords.
A hacker from an online group calling themselves Team Intra used a SQL vulnerability to grab a database containing the information.
The hackers alleged they were spurred on after an error message generated by probes of the website stated:"If you're trying to use the SQL error message to dig for juicy information, get lost.”
"I made it my personal goal to get in and r*pe their sorry asses for the message," the hackers said.
SC Magazine informed the university about the hack.
The university is renowned for research in the fields of engineering, life sciences and biomedicine.
Update: Comments below indicate the database may have been accessed earlier as passwords were already posted to a cracking forum.