Christopher Correa, the St. Louis Cardinals executive who hacked into the Houston Astros computer database, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on Monday for his role in the scandal.
Correa, who pled guilty on Jan. 8 to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer from 2013-14, will begin serving his sentence in the next two-to-six weeks.
— FBI Houston (@FBIHouston) July 18, 2016
Correa, 35, was the Cardinals’ scouting director before being fired by the club last July when these allegations first became public. While working for the Cardinals, he managed to hack into the Astros’ Ground Control computer database and obtain sensitive information regarding Houston’s baseball operations.
The notable hacks happened during the third day of the 2o13 MLB Draft and again around the 2013 trade deadline. Correa was able to access the Astros’ unique data and scouting reports on players that had yet been drafted, and he also viewed the team’s private notes surrounding the trade deadline. The team eventually overhauled its system in 2014, in part to guard against security breaches, but Correa was still able to access the system again to view notes on the upcoming draft, trade targets, and other scouting information.
Correa is not necessarily a master hacker, but got access thanks to a combination of lax protocol and a little bit of luck. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow used to work for the Cardinals before taking the Houston job in 2011. Correa happened to know his old boss’ password from his time with the Cardinals, which Lunhow failed to change significantly after switching teams.
While Correa is the one serving time for the hack, the Cardinals organization is not out of woods yet. Major League Baseball has yet to reach its final ruling on the case, and punishment from commissioner Rob Manfred is still pending based on a review of information from the FBI and court documents.