Microsoft Aids Authorities By Hacking Web Hackers

It sounds like something out of a crime drama....Microsoft, escorted by U-S Marshals, raided two web hosting companies Friday.

Normally it's the feds who raid the bad guys, but in this case, Microsoft received a warrant against a cyber Mafia crime ring to seize control of servers and hundreds of websites that had been used to steal more than 100-million dollars over the past five years.

Microsoft based its warrant petition on the RICO Act, usually used against the Mafia, and that allowed it to go after the criminals and anyone associated with them.

The servers, located at Web hosting companies in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Lombard, Illinois, had been used by the ring to control some 13 million computers that had been infected with a type of malware, called "Zeus," that steals bank account information.

Microsoft hailed the raid, calling it an "important strike against cybercrime."

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