Data breach: Trail points to China in Iowa computer hack

William Petroski reports:

Iowa investigators suspect a serious breach of a state government computer database last week originated in China, which a congressional panel says has increased its use of cyber espionage tactics.

The hackers gained access to a computer system operated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. The breach allowed access to personal information involving about 80,000 people, primarily current and former employees of Iowa’s casino and racing industries, commission administrator Jack Ketterer said.

Letters advising people of the security breach are scheduled to be mailed today, Ketterer said.

A forensic investigation indicates China was the source of the hacking incident, although state officials are not absolutely certain because some computer hackers try to disguise their digital footprints, said Robert Bailey, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services.

Read more in the Des Moines Register.

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