Microsoft has won approval from a US federal judge to deactivate 277 internet domains the software giant claims are linked to a botnet.
Microsoft filed a suit against a botnet identified as Waledac, which it claims is spreading spam and malicious code.
As part of the court order, Judge Brinkema required domain name provider VeriSign to temporarily turn off the suspect Internet addresses. The aim behind this is to let Microsoft sever channels to the botnet before those behind it could re-establish network links.
New computer virus
The suit by Microsoft comes a week after internet security firm NetWitness reported a new type of computer virus.
The Kneber botnet, as it's been named, has already affected almost 75,000 computers in 2,500 organisations around the world. Over half the machines infected with Kneber also were infected with Waledac, a peer-to-peer botnet.
Alex Cox, the Principal Analyst at NetWitness, said: "It is 100 per cent certain that many organisations have no idea they are victimized by these types of problems because they're just not tooled to see them on their networks.
"The Kneber botnet is just one category of advanced threat that organizations have been facing the past few years that they are still largely ignorant or blind to today."