The Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations (JTF-CNO) (formerly the "Joint Task Force–Computer Network Defense") is the primary Department of Defense entity for coordinating and directing internal activities to detect computer-based attacks, contain damage, and restore computer functionality when disruptions occur. The unit was established in 1998 to serve as one organization with overall authority for directing defensive actions against computer-based attacks across the entire Department.
The JTF-CND directly supports "Critical Infrastructure Protection," PDD-63, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Joint Vision 2010 "Full Spectrum Dominance," which includes the capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information.
On October 1, 1999, the JTF-CND became a military component of the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM). The JTF-CND monitors incidents and potential threats. It also coordinates across the DoD to formulate and direct actions to stop or contain damage and restore network functionality.
In April 2001, the JTF-CNO's scope of responsibility was expanded to include a new operational mission: computer network attack. In addition to expanding mission responsibilities, the JTF-CNO is growing in size and depth to better meet increased network defense responsibilities. The JTF-CNO expansion significantly increases its ability to perform the following:
- (1) preventive activities, such as conducting security reviews and issuing vulnerability alerts;
- (2) coordination and monitoring detection activities performed by components, including monitoring automated intrusion-detection systems;
- (3) investigative and diagnostic activities; and
- (4) event handling and response activities, which involve disseminating information and providing technical assistance to system administrators so that they can appropriately respond to cyberattacks.