Cellular microRNAs serve key roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of almost every cellular gene-regulatory pathway, and it therefore is not surprising that viruses have found ways to subvert this process. Several viruses encode microRNAs that directly downregulate the expression of factors of the innate immune system, including proteins involved in promoting apoptosis and recruiting effector cells of the immune system. Viruses have also evolved the ability to downregulate or upregulate the expression of specific cellular miRNAs to enhance their replication. This Review provides an overview of the present knowledge of the complex interactions of viruses with the microRNA machinery of cells. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.