I've been musing about the parallels between FTDI drivers intentionally bricking hardware and the CIA running a bogus Hep B vaccination program to find Osama Bin Laden. Both actions had a specific goal: to eliminate "counterfeit" chips, and to find Bin Laden, respectively.
I remember in the dark old days when the done thing with Windows updates was to wait about a week after they were released, and if there were no reports of them breaking other peoples systems, beginning the slow process of updating pre-production systems and testing that everything still worked after patches were applied. Often this was a slow, laborious process, because patches broke shit all the time.
Fast forward to the current state of play where exploits are active in the wild sometimes hours after patches are released, fortunately huge amounts of work has been made by vendors in ensuring that security updates don't break things. We've been able to move from a "manually update when you get around to it" to a "silently and immediately update in the background" model of applying security patches. Underpinning this whole mechanism is trust in the idea that applying patches will help, not break things. A single patch that intentionally breaks that promise has far reaching consequences.
After years of decline, polio is making a comeback. Where? Worldwide, but specifically in Pakistan. Why? Because immunisation workers are being targeted, accused of being foreign spies. In a world where even relatively well educated people believe conspiracy theories about immunisation, the actions of the CIA made people in Pakistan question whether the immunisations being distributed were for help or for hindrance. Years and years of hard slog by health workers has been put back significantly.
Kids dying of polio in Pakistan because of CIA operations and machines getting owned because their maintainers became gunshy of applying patches may not seem to have much in common, but both are the result of sudden breakdowns in trust in systems of support, due to intentional actions made without regard for the trust they were breaking. Both actions, in single fell blows, undermined important programs that had years of work put into them. FTDI and CIA, I hope you're both happy. You fucking scumbags.