Front-office employees of the St. Louis Cardinals, one of baseball’s most successful teams, are under an FBI investigation for allegedly hacking into an internal network of the Houston Astros to steal closely guarded information about players, the New York Times reports. Investigators have uncovered evidence that the Cardinals broke into an Astros’ network of special databases the team had built. Internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports were compromised, said investigators.
Officials believe the hacking was done by vengeful Cardinals front-office employees to disrupt the work of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros' general manager, a successful Cardinals executive until 2011. The attack is the first known case of corporate espionage in which a professional sports team hacked the network of another team. Illegal intrusions into companies' networks have become commonplace, but they are generally conducted by hackers operating in foreign countries, like Russia and China.