If the attacker {comes, gets} into possession of the cryptographic secret, he can do whatever he wants.

Is any of the two possibilities wrong/correct/better or is there even another option?

  • 1
    Come is often used to indicate change of state; the verbs come to be and become are straightforwardly inchoative. And get is the inchoative of both be and have (I got/am tired; I got/have a new car). So it's inevitable that come and get are mixed up in a mess of constructions from which it is hard to extract one but not both. – John Lawler Aug 23 '18 at 15:17

Overwhelmingly, "come" (and its inflections) is used here.

I searched the Corpus of Contemporary American English for _v* into possession of (where _v* matches verbs) and got the following results:

  • come into possession of: 34 hits
  • came into possession of: 21 hits
  • comes into possession of: 5 hits
  • coming into possession of: 2 hits
  • put into possession of: 1 hit
  • lucked into possession of: 1 hit

Note: Even after looking at the hit itself, I'm really not sure what to make of "put" in this context. As a native speaker of American English, I can't say I ever remember hearing it used like this.

On the other hand, "lucked" here is perfectly idiomatic to me (albeit informal), but it means not only did you come into possession of something, you were also lucky to do so. Therefore, it's not really a synonym.

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