A former scouting director for the Saint Louis Cardinals MLB baseball team got four years in prison for breaking into the private database of the Houston Astros.
Chris Correa pleaded guilty to all charges, according to a plea agreement signed on January 8.
FBI started an investigation into this incident in the August of 2015.
While this is not a case of industrial espionage at all, it does go to show law enforcement is becoming stronger and is cracking down and punishing suspects when it comes to cybercrimes.
Correa’s role in this entire incident goes back to 2013, two years after Jeff Luhnow, head of the Cardinals’ scouting and player development department, left the team to be the Houston Astros’ General Manager.
While he was with the Cardinals, Luhnow had built a database called Red Bird, which he used to manage player personnel movement, statistics, reports, and other operations.
Once with the Astros, Luhnow did the same thing, and created Ground Control, a carbon copy of the Red Bird database.
In 2013, Correa stumbled upon a list of passwords that Lunhow used for the Red Bird database. He proceeded to identify the Ground Control database and then tried and successfully authenticated with Luhnow’s older passwords.
According to the FBI, Correa stole data from the Astros database such as player rankings for the upcoming MLB Draft, player reports for the upcoming Draft, draft boards for the 2013 and 2014 MLB Draft, proposed player contract offers, reports for college top-performing players, notes on Astros trade discussions, Astros player reports, and more.
He accessed the database over 60 times from March 2013 to March 2014. The Astros organization said the Cardinals used data stolen by Correa to draft players they also wanted to draft.
For his crimes, Correa faced five years in jail for each of the five counts of hacking he was accused of. Correa received 46 months in prison and must pay $279,038 to the Astros