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article imageHouston Astros hacked, trade data stolen

By James Green     Jul 2, 2014 in Sports
The Houston Astros have become the latest victims in the growing cybercrime epidemic. Sensitive data related to purposed trades, some of which were actually executed, has been stolen and leaked online.
The data breach began at least 10 months ago when hackers accessed the Houston Astros proprietary software called "Ground Control." The built-from-scratch software is used by individuals in the Astros front office to access player stats, videos, and track communications with other teams around the league.
While Ground Control made the job of Astros executives much easier, it also centralized sensitive data making it a prime target for cybercriminals, and apparently failed to secure the data properly. Exactly how the hackers gained access to the Astros system remains unclear.
The Ground Control data logs were published on an anonymous data sharing website called The information was split into two dumps, Astros internal discussions leading up to the 2013 season trade deadline, and trade discussion logs during the off season. The stolen information provides a rare insight into the inner workings of an MLB front office.
Leading up to the trade deadline, the Astros were shopping starting pitcher Bud Norris hard. They contacted numerous teams to discuss trade packages that would involve top prospects like Xander Bogarts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Oscar Taveras, and Michael Wacha, but teams were unwilling to part with elite prospects for the pitcher. Ultimately the Astros would have to settle for a much more realistic trade with the Baltimore Orioles.
During the off season, Astros executives discussed trades with the Blue Jays, Giants, Rockies, Orioles, Marlins, Yankees, Angels, Rangers, White Sox and Mets. Some of the players discussed might surprise you, the Astros listened to offers for their star second baseman Jose Altuve and catcher Jason Castro. They also rejected an offer outright that would have landed them Miami Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton in exchange for two top prospects Carlos Correa and George Springer.
Early Trade discussions between the Astros and the Rockies are logged involving Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler, and Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles. The final terms of the trade were not included in the stolen logs but this trade actually happened during the off season.
On Monday the Astros released a statement in response to the Deadspin article and the leaked internal data.
"Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros' servers and in Astros' applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the[sic] determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.
"It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated."
The full transcripts of the leaked Astros front office data can be found here:
Ground Control logs leading up to the 2013 trade deadline.
Ground Control off season logs.
More about Houston astros, Toronto blue jays, SanFrancisco Giants, Hacked, Colorado rockies
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