Report: Houston Astros Got Hacked—by Cardinals

FBI is investigating a very strange MLB scandal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2015 12:47 PM CDT
Report: Houston Astros Got Hacked—by Cardinals
Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow sits in the audience during a press conference before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Sept. 2, 2014, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The FBI and the Justice Department are delving into what's beginning to look like something of a Watergate for Major League Baseball: The New York Times reports today on an investigation into whether the Houston Astros got hacked—by none other than front-office officials from the St. Louis Cardinals. The suspected goal of what Deadspin notes may become "one of the biggest and weirdest scandals in baseball history": to take successful Astros' GM Jeff Luhnow (an ex-Cardinals exec) down a notch. Player personnel info, scouting reports, and internal trade discussions were all said to be compromised in the 2013 hack, which the Times says "did not appear to be sophisticated," per law enforcement sources. Subpoenas for electronic correspondence have been served to the Cardinals and MLB. The league "has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach," a spokesman for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, per the Times.

Luhnow's backstory explains what might have prompted the hack: Before Luhnow created the Astros' "Ground Control" computer network—which Deadspin called "a marvel" in its June 2014 article that published part of the breached info—he had worked with the Cardinals' similar Redbird network, the Times notes. Cardinals officials believed Luhnow skipped town with their database concept and proprietary info, investigators say, also noting a smacking-our-heads theory about how the hackers may have gained access: working off the master list of passwords Luhnow used to access Redbird. In the meantime, as the feds continue their probe, no heads have rolled at the Cardinals, and no individuals have been named, the Times notes. (More St. Louis Cardinals stories.)

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