The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has lost control of its valuable cyber-weapon to hackers, according to The New York Times.
Hackers have threatened vulnerable American cities from Pennsylvania to Texas by using the so-called EternalBlue tool and paralyzed local governments and driven up costs, the daily reported on Saturday.
Recently the cybercriminals hacked the computers of city workers in Baltimore, Maryland and demanded about $100,000.
The NSA had resisted revealing that its malware was hacked by digital extortionists in 2017.
The Times claimed that the malware was hacked by the Shadow Brokers, which shared the agency's software exploits on the Internet and sent them to hackers linked with Russia, China, and North Korea.
Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert at Johns Hopkins University, described the Shadow Brokers incident as “the most destructive and costly N.S.A. breach in history,” the paper added.