MLB Hacking: St. Louis Cardinals v. Houston Astros

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has a scandal to deal with. Photo Credit: Keith Allison,
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has a scandal to deal with. Photo Credit: Keith Allison,

So many scandals have occurred in the sports world. Add Major League Baseball to the unfortunate growing list.

This time, it’s not about steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. This scandal involves former rivals in the National League’s Central division.

Front office members of the St. Louis Cardinals are under FBI investigation for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros’ private network to steal information of the Astros’ closely guarded players.

According to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, investigators obtained evidence that Cardinals’ employees broke into secure databases the Astros designed. The names of those employees have yet to be released.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated they’ve been cooperating with the authorities. Their office will most likely wait until the investigation has concluded.

It’s speculated this was an alleged personal attack because of former Cardinals executive Jeff Lunhow, who is now the current general manager for Houston.

Why would they go after a team whose general manager used to work for them? Was it really for division supremacy?

Authorities believe Cardinals’ employees used Lunhow’s own system against him. They state the hack happened two years ago with Ground Control, Lunhow’s private system safeguarding their information. Lunhow made a similar program with the Cardinals called Redbird.

The article states how authorities conducted their investigation:

Investigators believe that Cardinals personnel, concerned that Mr. Luhnow had taken their idea and proprietary baseball information to the Astros, examined a master list of passwords used by Mr. Luhnow and the other officials when they worked for the Cardinals. The Cardinals employees are believed to have used those passwords to gain access to the Astros’ network, law enforcement officials said.

That tactic is often used by cybercriminals, who sell passwords from one breach on the underground market, where others buy them and test them on other websites, including banking and brokerage services. The breach on the Astros would be one of the first known instances of a corporate competitor using the tactic against a rival. It is also, security experts say, just one more reason people are advised not to use the same passwords across different sites and services.

Some of the Astros’ information was anonymously posted on Deadspin. Investigators found the source of the computer emanating from a home that some Cardinals’ employees lived in.

We don’t know the entire story, but it doesn’t look good for the Cardinals. Why would they go for all that trouble for a game? It’s just not worth it.

It seems whoever orchestrated this has a vendetta against Lunhow. It also appears that the case is simple enough. Investigators traced the source back to the house of Cardinal employees.

Regardless of what happens next, it’s clear baseball teams must have tighter security to protect their databases. You can never know who’s next, and you can never assume it won’t happen to you.

Remember to check out the Facebook page for the Update. You can also check out my professional website for my other works and accomplishments. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and keep on reading. Until then, see you next time sports fans.

Yours Truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright @ 2007

*Follow Michael S. Schmidt on Twitter: @MichaelSSchmidt

know who’s next, and you can never assume it won’t happen to you.


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