A classified cyber operation issued last June is referenced in a recently released Air Force Instruction.
Judging from the Air Force Instruction 10-1701, titled “Command and Control (C2) for Cyberspace Operations,” the June 21 “execute order” extends to offensive cyberspace operations, according to Steven Aftergood, who writes the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog.
The President or Defense Secretary must have issued the order, which remains classified, given that an “‘Execution begins when the President decides to use a military option to resolve a crisis,’ according to Joint Publication 5-0 on Joint Operation Planning,” FAS said. “Only the President or SecDef can authorize the CJCS [Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff] to issue an execute order (EXORD).”
U.S. officials said Iran hacked unclassified Navy computers last summer in an escalation of Iranian cyberintrusions targeting the U.S. military, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The AFI’s execute order reference also comes weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported the clean up effort took approximately four months, an effort known as Operation Rolling Tide.
Vice Adm. Rogers, tapped to lead the National Security Agency (and therefore U.S. Cyber Command), headed the operation.