Microsoft has expressed its support for a massive sting operation which went down in multiple locations across the US on Wednesday. Operation Tangled Web saw US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) officers raid 30 locations in 16 states. They arrested those thought to be involved with the creation and selling of games console modification chips.

"Microsoft applauds ICE for its effort to reduce piracy and protect the intellectual property of Microsoft and its industry partners," said Microsoft in a statement.

"This is an important step in the continuing fight against piracy and the threat it presents to the global economy and consumers throughout the world."

The chips are designed to circumvent the copyright protection on console games. They are illegal and allow pirated games to be played on consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 2 , Nintendo Wii , Microsoft Xbox and Xbox 360 .

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"Illicit devices like the ones targeted today are created with one purpose in mind: subverting copyright protections," said Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in a statement.

"These crimes cost legitimate businesses billions of dollars annually and facilitate multiple other layers of criminality, such as smuggling, software piracy and money laundering."