The Cardinals front office officials are being investigated by the FBI in connection to the 2013 hacking of the Astros’ Ground Control database, reports Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times. According to Schmidt, federal investigators have uncovered evidence which indicates that Cards officials were the ones to break into the Astros’ network and databases, leading to the compromise of trade discussions, proprietary statistics and scouting reports.
At this point, it’s unclear which officials are being investigated, but Schmidt reports that no one with the team has been put on leave, suspended or fired at this time. Subpoenas have been served to both the Cards and MLB. In a statement to Schmidt, a spokesperson for commissioner Rob Manfred said that MLB “has been aware of and has fully cooperated with the federal investigation into the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database.”
Schmidt continues to say that the “hacking” was rather low-grade, as it’s believed that Cardinals officials gained entry by using a master list of passwords from Jeff Luhnow and those who followed him from the STL front office to the Houston front office. The current belief among investigators is that Cardinals officials were concerned that Luhnow took proprietary information from St. Louis’ Redbird system — a network similar to Ground Control — and applied the information to his new system in Houston.
Schmidt adds that some law enforcement officials believe the breach to be the result of “vengeful” Cardinals employees “hoping to wreak havoc” on Luhnow’s work in Houston. The Astros believed the hacking to be random and notified the FBI, who learned that the Ground Control network had been accessed from a home in which a Cardinals official had lived.
The breach ultimately led to a good deal of private Astros information becoming public knowledge, including trade discussions that brought a good deal of scrutiny on the Houston organization.
It remains to be seen what kind of punishments will be issued if the Cardinals are indeed proved to be behind the incident. However, this is certainly the type of offense that would cost executives their jobs, and there could very well be further legal repercussions for those involved, as well as further punishments issued to the organization by the league.
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From what I've been reading, it doesn't sound like Cardinals President Bill DeWitt or GM John Mozeliak knew anything about it. It sounds like some front-office employee had a vendetta against Jeff Lunhow.
I do find it amusing, though, that Lunhow used the same passwords he used in St. Louis and that's how the hacker accessed everything.
"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." - Herm Albright