Microsoft busts sophisticated cyber crime ring that stole millions

REDMOND, Wash. -- Investigators with Microsoft and Symantec have just shut down a sophisticated cyber crime ring. They suspect 18 people from all over the world were part a black market bot-net that stole millions of dollars.

Investigators shut down one computer in New Jersey on Wednesday and another in the Netherlands they believe are connected.

"If you search for something on any of the search engines, it will take that search and it will take it to an alternative, route, kind of like a black market," said Richard Boscovich with Microsoft's Digital Crime Units.

The search goes into an alternative internet so to speak, where the search was hijacked and redirected to sometimes legitimate web pages, but not what users where looking for.

"At this point, you are being hijacked and you are being taken to another site, not associated with the site you should have gone to," Boscovich said.

The cyber thieves essentially steal the advertising dollars that would have gone to the search engine, and the infected computer user has no idea they were participating in the crime-- it appears like it was just a wrong search result.

So if you've searched for something but what you searched for doesn't come up, your computer may have been infected malware. You just need to run anti-virus software to get rid of it.