Experts: Hacking Probe Will Stretch if Cards Execs Involved

The federal hacking investigation of the St. Louis Cardinals could take longer if high-level executives are implicated in the breach of the Houston Astros' database, according to legal experts.

The investigation is likely several months old, with much of the computer forensics work likely already complete, said Philip Hilder, a Houston criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor. Much of that forensics work would include scouring Astros servers for information about who logged on and whether any IP addresses -- numbers that identify a particular computer on the Internet -- lead back to someone inside the Cardinals organization.

"At this stage in the investigation it will be key to determine, as to where the trail goes, who may have ordered or was aware of the activity," Hilder said.

"If the trail ends at rogue employees, obviously the investigation will conclude quicker," Hilder said. "If they implicate higher-ups, there will have to be a fair amount of corroboration and that may take a while."

Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. has blamed the alleged hack on "roguish behavior" by a handful of individuals. An attorney for the team has said high-level executives were not involved in the scandal. The team said Thursday that they fired scouting director Chris Correa, but declined to say why.

Investigators will use information they've gathered -- including possibly emails, texts and other communications between workers within the Cardinals' organization -- to help guide interviews with employees and figure out who ultimately was behind the security breach, said Michael Zweiback, a Los Angeles defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.

But investigators won't get to ask whether high-level executives were involved unless they first connect someone to the keystrokes that set the alleged crime in motion.

Zweiback said that when he served as chief of the cyber and intellectual property crimes section with the Los Angeles...

Comments are closed.