On february 24th of this year, a report was released by the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Dutch government with the alluring title “National Risk Assessment 2010” (PDF Alert – Dutch). This is not a new phenomenon, its a yearly recurring report that covers the results of scenarios thought up by the government in order to create or improve their strategies. Whats so special about the 2010 report is that for the first time ever, Cyber Conflict is a scenario being covered by the report.
In the scenario the Netherlands will be hit by a large-scale, coordinated cyber attack organized by an enemy state. These attacks debilitate the functioning of government institutions, parts of the critical infrastructure and commercial ventures. The IT infrastructure of several ministries are paralyzed, the electric grid in the provinces Gelderland and North Holland (think Amsterdam) shut down, telephone traffic is seriously limited and satellite communications are down (limiting the Defence departments´ ability to communicate with units abroad). International commerce and financial institutions are also severely hit.