WASHINGTON (AP) — The digital pursuit of hackers who stole and published credit reports on U.S. politicians and celebrities is crisscrossing at least two continents and includes a San Francisco-based Internet company, Cloudflare, The Associated Press has learned.
Cloudflare operates the directory servers used behind the scenes to send visitors to the Russian website where the stolen credit reports were published, according to Internet registration records. Without that service, few Internet users would be able to visit the Russian website or view the stolen credit reports.
A spokeswoman, Carol Carrubba, told the AP that Cloudflare doesn’t comment on its customers. But Carrubba said: ‘‘Even if we delete a customer’s account, the content remains in place, though the site may load more slowly.’’
Internet directories continued to identify Cloudflare as directing traffic to the Russian website. Any technical changes could take hours or days to update across the Internet.
The FBI in San Francisco declined to tell AP whether investigators have contacted Cloudflare to review payments or communications that had been used to set up the service.