SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft on Tuesday said it struck another blow in its battle against cyber crooks by busting a spam-sending network of virus-infected computers.

Along with taking down a "botnet" believed to have been used for nefarious activities including spam, stock scams, and sexual exploitation of children, Microsoft sued the owner of an online domain used to control operations.

Czech Republic resident Dominique Alexander Piatti was served notice of the lawsuit on Monday, according to Microsoft.

Naming owners of online venues used to control armies of "zombie" computers infected with malicious software "helps expose how cybercrime is enabled when domain providers and other cyber infrastructure providers fail to know their customers," Microsoft said.

The disrupted network was referred to as "Kelihos" and was suspected of being a reincarnation of the first botnet Microsoft took down with a combination of legal and technical tactics.

"The Kelihos takedown is intended to send a strong message to those behind botnets that it's unwise for them to simply try to update their code and rebuild a botnet once we've dismantled it," Microsoft said.

Microsoft went through a US federal court to get an order clearing the way for the software colossus to sever connections between a group of domains owned by Piatti and ranks of "zombie computers" infected with viruses.