President Obama has signed a directive which gives the military to act aggressively against cyber attacks targeted at the United States. The Policy Directive 20 outlines broad and strict standards, which will guide federal agencies when dealing with online attacks.
“What it does, really for the first time, is it explicitly talks about how we will use cyber-operations… Network defense is what you’re doing inside your own networks. .?.?. Cyber-operations is stuff outside that space, and recognizing that you could be doing that for what might be called defensive purposes,” stated a senior administration official.
The directive provides a distinction between network defense and cyber-operations. The directive also lays out a “process to vet any operations outside government and defense networks.”