Minnesota man charged with hacking MLB and trying to blackmail the league

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In emails with an MLB manager, 30-year-old Joshua Streit threatened to reveal the vulnerability through which he accessed the league’s website to stream live games, before charging $ 150,000 for finding it, according to indictments of the technological flaw demanded.

Streit is said to have repeated his blackmail attempt in September, at a time when the MLB was under scrutiny in preparation for the playoffs. The news comes before Game 3 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves.

A Twitter account listed as a contender in the criminal complaint did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. James Becker, an attorney listed for dispute on court records, did not respond to requests for comment.

Charges against Streit, also known as Josh Brody, include wire fraud, illegal hacking into a computer for the purpose of fraud, and “sending interstate threats with the intent of extortion.” The maximum sentence for any single charge is between two and 20 years in prison.

Dispute is alleged to have illegally streamed live copyrighted games from the MLB, National Basketball Association, National Football League and National Hockey League. In order to do so, prosecutors claim they are arguing with stolen credentials to access the sports’ websites and profitably stream live games on its own website.

One of the sports leagues lost nearly three million dollars as a result of disputes, the US prosecutor said in a press release.

A LinkedIn profile listed in the complaint as the property of Streit describes him as a software engineer living in the Minneapolis area.

When first appeared in court on Thursday in the US District Court for the Minnesota District, a judge, according to court documents, ordered a “temporary detention” for a dispute pending the November 1st hearing.

A spokesman for the MLB declined to comment. Neil Boland, the League’s chief information security officer, did not respond to requests for comment.

The MLB is no stranger to cybersecurity scandals.

Christopher Correa, the former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in 2016 for hacking into the Houston Astros’ scouting records.

Large sports franchises have had to invest in better cybersecurity protection in recent years as cyber criminals have tried to blackmail sports teams like other large corporations.

Manchester United, one of the richest football clubs in the world, blamed “organized cybercriminals” last year for a breach that hampered the club’s computer systems for days.
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