Monday, July 18, 2016

Former Cardinals Scouting Director Gets 46 Months

Former Cardinals Scouting Director Chris Correa was ordered to pay almost $280,000 in restitution and was sentenced to 46 months in prison today.

Astros legal counsel Giles Kibbe said that Correa accessed Ground Control - the Astros internal database - at least 60 times between March 13-June 28, 2014. This is a far higher number of breaches than was previously indicated by prosecutors.

The County Mountie, our InfoSec specialist, wrote up a little something back in January:
Correa is the criminal here. He accessed the Astros database unauthorized. Whether or not he was looking for proprietary data is irrelevant. His timing coincided with both the trade deadline and the draft. This wasn't about what the Astros took, it's what the Cardinals took and gained an advantage from. Whether or not Correa shared the information with GM is irrelevant. He was in a position to gain from the position he accessed.

Not Hank Aaron, our Legal specialist, wrote last July, of Correa's defense that he broke into Ground Control to see if the Astros stole any of the Cardinals' proprietary data:
Now, I don't claim to be an expert in this area of law, but, this is really dumb. Unauthorized access to someone else's computer is a federal crime, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. That's why the FBI is involved in this investigation. You don't get to commit a federal crime just because you think someone has wronged you. I feel like this is important advice.

It's sort of like going into someone else's house to see if they have the tv you think they stole from you. If you get caught, you're the one breaking & entering. 

It's worth noting in David Barron's write-up in the Chronicle that Judge Lynn Hughes got salty with Correa:
But even as Correa admitted his wrongdoing, Hughes interjected his own descriptions of the defendant's actions - "intentionally, over a long period of time, stupidly."

Motherboard has this take:
It's also debatable whether guessing a password - or even sharing a password - to access a database should lead to almost four years in prison. In this case, the sentence was based on the calculation that Correa's unauthorized access to the data cost the Astros $1.7 million. Correa caused this damage by accessing the Astros' "notes on its trade discussions with other teams," as well as their scouting reports. 

Now the matter is turned over to MLB and Rob Manfred, who may or may not do anything to the Cardinals.