Top officials with the St. Louis Cardinals are under investigation from the FBI and Justice Department for allegedly hacking into the network of the Houston Astros, The New York Times reported today.
The MLB and Cardinals have reportedly been subpoenaed
According to the Times, evidence suggests the Cardinals officials may have broken into a database containing "[i]nternal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports," although it's not yet clear how high the investigation may reach. Reportedly, the Cardinals and MLB have already been hit with subpoenas related to the investigation. (MLB officials told the Times that they were aware of the breach and were cooperating fully with the investigation.)
The investigation is reportedly revolving around Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who worked for the Cardinals while the team developed a computer network to house its operational information, before leaving for the Astros and spearheading the creation of a similar system. The hack may have been a way for the Cardinals to determine what information, exactly, Luhnow had taken with him.
Investigators reportedly believe the hack wasn't complicated. According to the Times, the Astros' network was entered from a house where some Cardinals officials lived. Evidence apparently suggests the Cardinals officials were able to enter the Astros network by reusing a master list of passwords that Luhnow had used during his time at the Cardinals.
But regardless of the complexity of the hack, if true, the event could be a watershed moment in corporate espionage: as the Times points out, this would be the first known time a sports team has hacked into a network to steal from a rival.