Washington: Software giant Microsoft has disrupted a network of infected computers that was helping cyber criminals commit fraud.
Hackers had installed malicious software on computers to steal victims` personal data and hijack search results to charge businesses for online advertisement clicks.
By taking down the cybercrime ring, over 300,000 people around the world will regain control of their computers, Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney at Microsoft`s Digital Crimes Unit, said in a blog post.
According to the Huffington Post, the infected computers were part of what is called a botnet, or a global network of infected PCs.
The cybercriminals behind the botnet remain unknown, but investigators believe they came from Russia or Eastern Europe because code on the infected PCs contained a Russian phrase that said "I was already here," Boscovich said.
Microsoft worked with the security firm Symantec to help disrupt the botnet, the report said.
It was the sixth time in three years Microsoft had taken such action to go after cybercriminals, it added.