SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - U.S. authorities on Friday plan to announce the cracking of an international software piracy ring that reportedly cost Microsoft Corp. some $75 million in sales last year.
FBI (news - web sites) agents and local police arrested some two dozen people in the San Francisco Bay area Thursday after a federal grand jury returned sealed indictments against alleged members of the ring last week.
FBI Director Robert Mueller was scheduled to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to announce formally the arrests, dubbed "Operation Cyberstorm."
FBI officials declined to reveal details of the sting ahead of the news conference, but confirmed a number of arrests.
Local newspapers reported many of those arrested were Taiwan citizens who allegedly duplicated software, including Microsoft Office 2000 and Microsoft Windows NT in Taiwan and then sold the pirated versions in the United States and elsewhere.
Adobe Systems Inc. software, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Go-Live, was also targeted by the alleged software pirates, according to news reports.
Those arrested Thursday face charges including money laundering, criminal copyright infringement and trafficking counterfeit goods.