How one man could have pwned all your PHP programs | Cyber Security

You’ve probably heard the term “supply chain attack” – it’s an all-the-rage jargon phrase in cybersecurity these days.

The metaphor is obvious – keeping goods safe, secure and unspoilt from manufacture to their final delivery has always been tough business.

The Dutch, for example, came up with brandy (brandewijn, which means distilled wine) especially to reduce the cost of transporting wine and to stop it going off in transit.

At 12% alcohol by volume, wine will soon spoil in the cargo hold of a sailing ship, but at 60%, “burned wine” will stay fresh even if you sail half way round the world and back.

The theory was to transport the wine in “compressed” form, and then dilute the brandy back to wine strength at the other end, so it could be sold at wine-like prices in wine-like volumes…

…but in practice the merchants just switched one problem (that the wine would turn to vinegar on the way) for another (that the brandy would vanish in transit, siphoned off by sailors who thought it far better unrediluted).