The question was posed online with no preamble and in broken English. It sounded like a prank, a thought experiment, or an internet troll shouting into the digital ether. It was none of these…This message, posted in 2016 by an account calling itself “theshadowbrokers,” began a series of events that would send shock waves through United States intelligence agencies and beyond. During a year-long escapade, the Shadow Brokers released documents that exposed how hackers working on behalf of the American government had penetrated networks around the world to delay, disrupt, and defang their targets. Their purloined files revealed that hacking was a fundamental, though mostly secret, tool of American statecraft, one deployed clandestinely against foe and friend alike.