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Attacks targeting something or someone indirectly-nth order attacks against end systems--have occurred on a large scale in real life. It goes to the heart of how conflicts between open societies and their enemies are waged: trust subsystems. Trust helps lower tangible and intangible transaction costs between individuals, corporations, and the state. Members of "high-trust" societies like the United States leverage trust beyond family ties to form efficient civic and economic organizations. Because trust permeates every facet of open societies, it's a very easy assumption for malicious actors to violate.