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July 21, 2016

Justice Is Served in MLB Hack


Baseball is a game built around the art of stealing. Players regularly attempt to steal bases, and signs from opposing coaches. Likewise, fans applaud when a fielder “robs” someone of a hit, or a pitcher picks someone off of first base.

On the baseball diamond, stealing is perfectly acceptable. Off the baseball diamond, however, stealing is a different story—especially if you try to illegally hack into an opposing team’s computer system in search of information.

This is exactly what Chris Correa did, while serving as the former director of baseball development for the St. Louis Cardinals. Correa recently pleaded guilty to illegally accessing the Houston Astros’ computer network in 2013, and attempting to view scouting reports for players in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Correa accessed– among other items—the rankings of every player eligible for the MLB draft. As NPR explained, Correa viewed notes of the Astros’ trade discussions, and a list detailing players that the Astros were looking to acquire.

Correa, of course, stated that he was sorry for his reckless actions, but his apology wasn’t enough to spare him from prison time. This week, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes sentenced Correa to 46 months in a federal prison.

Correa’s actions cost the Houston Astros about $1.7 million in damages. The team was forced to instruct all employees to change their passwords following the incident as well. In efforts to avoid similar problems, other teams have followed suit and increased their network security measures.

So the next time you think about hacking into your competitor’s network to steal trade secrets, think again. Correa’s case proves that it warrants more than just a slap on the wrist. It could land you or your colleagues in jail, and it could ruin your company’s reputation.

It’s also important to take precautions to protect your network. One of the reasons why Correa was able to access the Astros’ network is that an employee within the Astros’ system previously worked for the Cardinals. Upon his leaving, that employee turned in his laptop, which was owned by the Cardinals, to Correa, along with his password. According to NPR, Correa was able to use that information to hack into the employee’s new account on the Astros’ network.

This type of incident could easily happen in your organization if you don’t take proper precautions. When employees turn in laptops, make sure that their accounts are thoroughly wiped. Strong access controls should also be set, to prevent unauthorized users from snooping for information which could come back to hurt your company.

By outsourcing to a managed services provider like Apex Technology Services, you can ensure that technology best practices like these are regularly enforced, so that your business can avoid running into unnecessary complications.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

                                                                                                            





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