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Ex Cardinal's Scouting Director Chris Correa Sentenced To 46 Months For Hacking Astros' Computer System (go.com) 42

New submitter yzf750 quotes a report from ESPN: A federal judge sentenced the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals [Christopher Correa] to nearly four years in prison Monday for hacking the Houston Astros' player personnel database and email system in an unusual case of high-tech cheating involving two Major League Baseball clubs. "The data breach was reported in June 2014 when Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters the team had been the victim of hackers who accessed servers and proceeded to publish online months of internal trade talks," reports ESPN. "Luhnow had previously worked for the Cardinals. The FBI said Correa was able to gain access using a password similar to that used by a Cardinals employee who 'had to turn over his Cardinals-owned laptop to Correa along with the laptop's password' when he was leaving for a job with the Astros in 2011. Prosecutors have said Correa in 2013 improperly downloaded a file of the Astros' scouting list of every eligible player for that year's draft. They say he also improperly viewed notes of trade discussions as well as a page that listed information such as potential bonus details, statistics and notes on recent performances and injuries by team prospects. Authorities say that after the Astros took security precautions involving [a database called Ground Control] following a Houston Chronicle story about the database, Correa was able to still get into it. Authorities say he hacked the email system and was able to view 118 pages of confidential information, including notes of trade discussions, player evaluations and a 2014 team draft board that had not yet been completed. Federal prosecutors say the hacking cost the Astros about $1.7 million, taking into account how Correa used the Astros' data to draft players. Christopher Correa had pleaded guilty in January to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013 to at least 2014, the same year he was promoted to director of baseball development in St. Louis. He was fired last summer and now faces 46 months behind bars and a court order to pay $279,038 in restitution. He had faced up to five years in prison on each count."
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Ex Cardinal's Scouting Director Chris Correa Sentenced To 46 Months For Hacking Astros' Computer System

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  • Cheaters never prosper.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's debatable how much of an advantage the Cardinals actually gained. As I understand it, the hacking was done to look for information that Luhnow would have taken from the Cardinals. Because the Cardinals were among MLB's best teams while the Astros were awful, the Astros would have drafted right after the Cardinals, at the start of the next round. It's possible that the Cardinals could have chosen players the Astros wanted to select, as revenge against Luhnow. However, I haven't seen any clear evidence p

  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Monday July 18, 2016 @06:51PM (#52537859)
    But he didn't MEAN to do it. That should have been enough to get him off.
    • But he didn't MEAN to do it. That should have been enough to get him off.

      It was apparently good enough for Hillary.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      He raped a company, not a real person, so there is your difference right there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First, Jeff Luhnow wasn't particularly well-liked in the Cardinals front office. There was a well-documented rift between people who were loyal to the long-time general manager, Walt Jocketty, and people who were loyal to Luhnow, who was perceived as very arrogant. Luhnow also favored more emphasis on the draft and player development. Eventually this led to the firing of Jocketty. Luhnow gained some power and, in fairness, did quite a bit of good by having several good drafts that restocked the minor league

  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Monday July 18, 2016 @08:07PM (#52538193)
    In a fair economic situation every company would have total access to a competitor's data. That way they can price compete while both having all the information. In an unfair system what does it mean to cheat? Is it to the players' benefit that all the data is kept secret? After all if all know the truth the pay might be much higher.
    • In a fair economic situation every company would have total access to a competitor's data. That way they can price compete while both having all the information. In an unfair system what does it mean to cheat? Is it to the players' benefit that all the data is kept secret? After all if all know the truth the pay might be much higher.

      The problem with your argument is there is a often a monetary value to information. Man hours have to be spent to collect and analyze this data. If it all has to be shared with competitors, there'd be no incentive for businesses to spend the resources to create that information in the first place.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're right. It's expensive to collect data, develop tools to analyze the data, and make projections. When Luhnow was hired as the GM of the Astros, he also brought a lot of his staff to Houston. The Cardinals were concerned that some of the proprietary data and tools was taken to Houston, as well. The Cardinals spent a lot of money for that, so they didn't want their former employees to take it to a competitor. That was the initial motivation for the hack. While the hacking is unlawful, I believe both sid

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not quite. There's a lot of data available to the teams already. However, the challenge is in projecting future performance from a player. Teams that send scouts to watch high school and college players might have different notes on the players. Why would a team pay to send a scout if they had to share the notes with the other teams? That makes no sense. The goal is also to sign players for expected future performance, which means developing a model based on prior performance to project what a player will d

    • What!? You mean baseball players might not be getting paid enough? Oh the humanity!!!!

      FYI, the average salary for a player is $4 million.

  • by lokedhs ( 672255 )
    It took me quite a bit of reading to understand what a "Cardinal scouting director" is. In fact, I'm still not entirely sure what such a person actually does.

    Given the tech-oriented and international audience of this side, I'm not sure that one can assume that I am alone in being confused by the wording of the title. A better one would be to simply refer to the person as "sports executive".

    • Re: A cardinal what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2016 @10:27PM (#52538761)

      I'll answer this for you.

      The St. Louis Cardinals are a Major League Baseball team. When high school and college players become professionals, they are drafted. The draft has many rounds and, generally speaking, each team picks once per round. Teams that didn't play well last season get to pick ahead of teams that played well. The idea there is competitive balance, letting bad teams pick first, when better players haven't been picked yet.

      The players being drafted are young, typically 18-22 years old. They haven't physically matured yet, nor have they played against the highest levels of competition. Teams want to pick the players who are most likely to develop into major league players a few years later. Scouting involves gathering information and data about players, then projecting how they'll develop and be able to compete against better competition.

      There are many thousands of high school and college players each year who are eligible to be drafted by a major league team. One person can't possibly gather and analyze data about all of those players or even a fraction of them. That's why teams have entire scouting departments to find the best young players and collect information. Teams have also turned to using statistics and analytics to measure the skills and ability of players, instead of subjective observations. Scouting departments have people who analyze the massive amount of data that's collected to predict how good young players will be a few years into the future. A lot of this involves developing software tools and analyzing statistical data. The scouting director is responsible for overseeing the people who do this type of work.

      • If that was the case, the headline would read "Ex Cardinals' Scouting Director" and not "Ex Cardinal's Scouting Director".

        The latter implies the scouting director belongs to one cardinal.

      • by lokedhs ( 672255 )
        I never expected to get such a detailed answer. Thank you for that.
    • Something about Catholics, I think.

    • It took me quite a bit of reading to understand what a "Cardinal scouting director" is. In fact, I'm still not entirely sure what such a person actually does.

      He managed talent scouting for the St Louis Cardinals baseball franchise. Basically he was in charge of the staff that tried to identify up and coming talent in development leagues, high schools and colleges. 20 seconds on google should have clarified the matter for you so I'm thinking you didn't actually read very much. Personally I think you might be engaging in a bit of equivocation by intentionally pretending to be unable to parse the sentence.

      Given the tech-oriented and international audience of this side, I'm not sure that one can assume that I am alone in being confused by the wording of the title.

      Most of the readers of slashdot are in the US and just be

  • Is it just me, or does it sound like the employee who left used the same password at his new job as the one he gave to Correa for the laptop? As someone who works in InfoSec, I think I've heard something before about reusing passwords and/or sharing them with others before. (look away Bruce Schneier, look away...)

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