Robert Bailey of the state Department of Administrative Services said personal data of about 80,000 people may have been compromised, the Des Moines Register reported. Most of the 80,000 are employees or former employees of casinos and racetracks in Iowa.
Bailey said the investigation points toward China, although he said there remains a possibility hackers elsewhere could have disguised their whereabouts. The hackers were able to gain access to the database during routine computer maintenance in January.
There has been growing concern about Chinese computer hacking. The most notorious example is the alleged attempt to gain access to Google e-mail accounts of Chinese political dissidents.