The US's most secretive intelligence agency was embarrassingly robbed and mocked by anonymous hackers

The National Security Agency, the U.S.'s largest and most secretive intelligence agency, has been hacked, robbed, mocked, and deeply infiltrated by anonymous hackers, according to a new New York Times expose.

Essentially, the NSA, which compiles massive troves of data on U.S. citizens and organizes cyber offensives against the U.S.'s enemies, was deeply breached by a group known as the "Shadow Brokers."

Those brokers now post cryptic, mocking messages pointed towards the NSA as they sell the cyber weapons, created at a huge cost to U.S. taxpayers, to any and all buyers, including the U.S.'s enemies like North Korea and Russia.

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: U.S. National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers delivers remarks arguing for the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act at the Heritage Foundation October 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. The conservative think tank hosted national security leaders for a seminar about the controversial 702 provision, which authorizes the government to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance to collect, use and disseminate communications stored by U.S. internet service providers, among other things. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A security car patrols the National Security Agency (NSA) data center in Bluffdale, Utah, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey
An aerial view of the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, U.S. January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo
A man is silhouetted near logos of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Wikipedia in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo March 11, 2015. NSA was sued on March 10, 2015, by Wikimedia and other groups challenging one of its mass surveillance programs that they said violates Americans' privacy and makes individuals worldwide less likely to share sensitive information. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY POLITICS)
People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with binary code and a Central Inteligence Agency (CIA) emblem, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS LOGO)
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"It's a disaster on multiple levels," Jake Williams, a cybersecurity expert who formerly worked on the NSA's hacking group, told the Times. "It's embarrassing that the people responsible for this have not been brought to justice."

"These leaks have been incredibly damaging to our intelligence and cyber capabilities," Leon E. Panetta, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency told the Times. "The fundamental purpose of intelligence is to be able to effectively penetrate our adversaries in order to gather vital intelligence. By its very nature, that only works if secrecy is maintained and our codes are protected."

Furthermore, a wave of cybercrime has been linked to the release of the NSA's leaked cyber weapons. 

According to another NSA source who spoke to the Times, the attack is partially the NSA's own fault. The NSA has long prioritized cyber offense over securing its own systems, according to the source. As a result, the U.S. now essentially has to start over on cyber initiatives, Panetta said, as it's totally exposed now. 

Read the full story at the New York Times here.

SEE ALSO: What a cyberwar with North Korea could look like, according to a cybersecurity expert

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