Players on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, high-fiving one another in happier, more innocent times. [Reuters]
Prosecutors with the FBI and U.S. Justice Department are investigating whether officials for the St. Louis Cardinals hacked into the internal networks of a rival team, The Houston Astros, to steal valuable private data on players.
The Cardinals are one of the most successful teams in recent decades. The New York Times reports that investigators have evidence that front office workers for the top-ranking team broke into a part of the Houston Astros' network that housed special databases where info on trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports were stored.
The officials did not say which employees were the focus of the investigation or whether the team’s highest-ranking officials were aware of the hacking or authorized it. The investigation is being led by the F.B.I.’s Houston field office and has progressed to the point that subpoenas have been served on the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for electronic correspondence.
The attack would represent the first known case of corporate espionage in which a professional sports team hacked the network of another team. Illegal intrusions into companies’ networks have become commonplace, but it is generally conducted by hackers operating in foreign countries, like Russia and China, who steal large tranches of data or trade secrets for military equipment and electronics.
Major League Baseball “has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database,” a spokesman for baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, said in a written statement.
"Cardinals Face F.B.I. Inquiry in Hacking of Astros’ Network" [nytimes.com]
What the hell, people, this internet thing is out of control. Five bucks says the feds find a way to hold Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning responsible for it.
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