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Crime Security

Baseball Team Hacks Another Team's Networks, FBI Investigates 105

An anonymous reader writes: The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the better baseball teams over the past several years. The Houston Astros have been one of the worst. Nevertheless, there is evidence that officials for the Cardinals broke into a network maintained by the Astros in order to gain access to "internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics, and scouting reports." The FBI is now leading an investigation into the breach, and they have served subpoenas to the Cardinals and to Major League Baseball demanding access to electronic correspondence. It's the first known instance of corporate espionage involving a network breach in professional sports. Law enforcement said the intrusion "did not appear to be sophisticated." It seems likely that a personal vendetta against the Astros's general manager is involved.
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Baseball Team Hacks Another Team's Networks, FBI Investigates

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  • Interesting (Score:4, Funny)

    by thedonger ( 1317951 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @03:36PM (#49923847)

    Right up until the point you said "baseball." In the title.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @03:40PM (#49923891)
      Slashdot used to be interesting too. Right up until user ID 1317951
    • Right up until the point you said "baseball." In the title.

      Cue classic xkcd on tests of manhood.

    • I was going to call you out for reflexively sneering at sports like the average Slashdot elitist. Then I remembered that we're talking about baseball, and I promptly fell asleep out of boredom.

    • Right up until the point you said "baseball." In the title.

      It's actually more interesting than you might think. The Houston Astro's have been a poor performing team up until very recently. They hired a new manager [wikipedia.org] that uses data driven techniques similar to those used in the book/movie Moneyball. [wikipedia.org] Since they hired him, the team's performance has improved. There is talk of him having some "proprietary information" that has boosted the team's performance.

      The game of baseball has evolved more rapidly in the past ten years than it has in the previous 100. It is mo

  • by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @03:43PM (#49923923)
    They used their ex-GM and ex-employee's passwords from their network to access the Astro's network. But why was it so easy to get their passwords in the first place. Isn't this normally not possible?
    • But why was it so easy to get their passwords in the first place.

      They forgot to add the "5" after "1234"

    • Re:Somebody explain? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @04:00PM (#49924091)

      They used their ex-GM and ex-employee's passwords from their network to access the Astro's network. But why was it so easy to get their passwords in the first place. Isn't this normally not possible?

      Because this:

      When Mr. Luhnow was with the Cardinals, the organization built a computer network, called Redbird, to house all of their baseball operations information — including scouting reports and player personnel information. After leaving to join the Astros, and bringing some front-office personnel with him from the Cardinals, Houston created a similar program known as Ground Control.

      The guy responsible for building a database for the Cardinals then got a job with the Astros (along with other Cardinal employees) basically STOLE the database when he moved. That's why the passwords for him and the other ex Cardinal employees still worked. I'd say the Astros could be in some trouble themselves.

      • Or maybe Luhnow or one of the employees that followed him to the Astros kept his password the same and the database was just similar. The Cardinals didn't seem to find any evidence that Luhnow stole IP when they accessed the database, which is what the Cardinals claimed they were doing.
      • by jetkust ( 596906 )
        If all the passwords and users were the same then why use someone else's account when you have your OWN account? In a normal security situation, he would have the keys but not the actual password unless the passwords were stored in plain text, right? But he would require the password (not the key) to get into the Astro's network.
    • They probably started by "hacking" into the park's WiFi network [backupify.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Said Tom Hanks.

  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @04:03PM (#49924125)

    That's just not cricket!

  • MLB stopped being a sport years ago.

    .
    So chalk it up to corporate espionage. Inept corporate espionage, but corporate espionage nonetheless.

    • I would postulate that the majority of pro sports organizations are at least as corrupt as the MLB, if not more so.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @04:22PM (#49924273) Homepage Journal

    Hey, if the NSA gets to violate the Constitution and spy on Americans, why not the MLB?

    Sauce for the goose is great for the gander.

  • by salahx ( 100975 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @04:32PM (#49924381)

    DH being the Designated Hacker, of course.

  • St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the better baseball teams over the past several years. The Houston Astros have been one of the worst. Nevertheless, there is evidence that officials for the Cardinals broke into a network maintained by the Astros...

    It seems the most competitive teams are often the most likely to cheat. The NFL Patriots also got caught cheating twice.

    It seems a competitive drive is a two-edge sword: if you are driven to push the boundaries in sports, it seems you are also driven to push

  • Q: Why are the Astros like Michael Jackson?

    A: They run around with a glove on one hand for no useful reason.

  • I find it hard to believe that anyone was dumb enough to break into a system that is virtually certain to count as a 'protected computer' for the purposes of the CFAA, from their home and without doing even a half assed job of covering their tracks.

    Even aside from any penalties that may or may not occur because of laws related to trade secrets, tortious somethingsomething, etc. and any MLB-imposed penalties, even merely cracking the system open for a look, and doing absolutely nothing with the data, acro
  • by CanadianMacFan ( 1900244 ) on Tuesday June 16, 2015 @04:50PM (#49924555)

    A sport invented to make cricket look exciting.

    (No offense intended. I actually like cricket.)

  • if you can finagle yourself to obtain the upper hand so much the better.
  • Shoot, it sounds like the Cardinals folk who left took a database copy when they moved to the Astros.

    The article says they used the same passwords as when they worked for the Cardinals (and user names I would assume).

    That makes absolutely no sense. I can't think of a more idiotic security approach (on both teams parts to be honest). I would bet the Astros system was internet exposed. Otherwise, the article would have mentioned VPN access breach or something, they took the time to point out the access was

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I live in St. Louis but don't pay attention to sports much.

      You must be new here. Give it time. In a few years, you'll be able to tell the seasons by the color of your blood. Red [mlb.com] from April to October, blue [nhl.com] from October to May (and hopefully June someday). Any overlap will cause a sickly shade of purple, as if your cardiovascular system had been retrofitted to circulate grape soda through your veins.

      And, yes, we've all pretty much written off the Rams. Any NFL team that wants to stay in St. Louis is going to

      • Born and been here most of my life, living in Soulard is fun. I couldn't care less about the Rams (the almost $1 billion stadium plan with about $400m of public funding has to be against the law without a public vote, thus the lawsuit), but I would like to see the Blues be more successful. And I like MLB playoff games, so I'm usually watching the Cardinals...

  • I'm a Reds fan, so I do hate both of the teams involved. It's all very sad, since the Cardinals gained very little from this other than creating a week of gasps last year by leaking the Astros database and some internal communications where they said what they really thought about some players. Probably no real competitive advantage at all other than embarrassing a couple of Astros employees.. (Although in a few years maybe) I want to offer some rants about ideas I'm seeing here in this thread.

    Houston Stole

    • by sh00z ( 206503 )

      I'm sure the logic is that only other baseball teams would want that data anyway, so there was no real concern about a group of Russian hackers copying a database. Why be fort knox secure when you trust and respect the other 29 teams that you share billions of dollars of revenue with? Naive, yes. Intentional, no. Deserved what they got, no. (No one deserves to be the victim of a crime)

      As a resident of Houston who has avoided the sport since they gave the home run title to a cheater, I have to respond to this part of your comment. If THAT was the logic, then while they may not have "deserved" it, implementing security this poor amounts to criminal negligence. There are *plenty* of others who would want the info. You see, there's this little thing called gambling, and small advantages like this is how the pros stay ahead. Strangely enough, these same pros also tend to associate with folks

  • Logging in to someone else's account because they didn't change their password when they switched jobs is what passes for hacking here.

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