Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The "Ground Control" hack

The big news in baseball Tuesday was the revelation that the feds are focused on the St. Louis Cardinals front office as the culprits in last year's invasion of the Houston Astros' baseball ops database.

You may recall that last summer, almost a year ago, there was a brief sensation when the website Deadspin posted a variety of internal Astros communications about potential trades and player evaluations,That led to the FBI investigation, which has apparently (per Yahoo) led them to a house in Jupiter, Fla., used by Cardinals officials during spring training.

I really don't know what to make of this. Oh, it's easy enough for me to believe the Cardinals would commit industrial espionage. Tony LaRussa no longer works there, but his spirit still permeates the organization, and that spirit is every bit as controlling-to-the-point-of-paranoia as that of Bill Belichick. If the Astros were as lax on security for "Ground Control" as reports indicate, sure, the Cards would take advantage.

But in that case, why would any of their informational loot wind up on an Internet bulletin board to tip off the world that the Astros proprietary information was readily accessible? That makes no sense,

I rather expect the feds to make the Cardinals an example for the rest of the nation. Just because you can break into a competitor's computer system doesn't make it a good idea. This might be small beans as industrial espionage goes, but it involves a high-profile business, so it's a good one to use as a general warning.

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