Stealing Signs and More: Cardinals Owner Puts Blame for Data Breach on Support Staff

On Thursday, June 18, Bill DeWitt, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, reportedly stated that the team support staff participated in the breach of the Houston Astros’ internal database.  Currently, investigators are looking at four or five people in the Cardinals’ office, and they have reason to believe that the unauthorized access occurred as early as 2012, a year earlier than was previously known.

As of now, the breach does not appear to be very sophisticated, as investigators believe that Cardinals personnel simply examined a master list of passwords used by Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager.  Luhnow previously worked for the Cardinals, and investigators believe that his former colleagues were concerned that Luhnow had taken their ideas and proprietary information to the Astros, leading to the alleged data breach.

As far as reprimand is concerned, the league has not yet taken any disciplinary action.  Attorneys have also said that the Cardinals, and any other potential actors, could face criminal charges as well as civil claims for misappropriation of a trade secret.  The situation is unprecedented and likely presents a daunting task for Rob Manfred in his first year as commissioner to hand out a proper punishment.

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