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Sony removes 2500 'names and partial addresses' from exposed Sony website [Update: Not PSN related!]

Update 11:15am: After some followup with our Japanese correspondant (Thanks, Ittousai!) we've updated the below story. Notably, the data was not from the PSN breach; rather, it was obtained from a publicly exposed file on Sony's own website, as revealed in this tweet two days ago. It's unclear what Reuters meant when it reported that the information "had been stolen by hackers and posted on a website" that Sony subsequently removed. It appears that Sony was able to remove the data from the website because ... it was Sony's own website! While this isn't related to the PSN attack, it is similarly emblematic of Sony's overall inability to protect sensitive customer data. You'll find our original (and erroneous) report after the break.

Update 11:56am: Included Sony's statement under More Coverage.

ORIGINAL: A report from Reuters' Tokyo branch reveals that the data lifted from PlayStation Network over two weeks ago had made its way from your life to Sony's servers into hacker's hands and finally, from there, onto an unnamed website. "Sony said on Saturday it had removed from the Internet the names and partial addresses of 2,500 sweepstakes contestants that had been stolen by hackers and posted on a website," Reuters reports.

Before you fret, let's detail the data a bit: It was from customers who entered a 2001 sweepstakes (Win a Free Identity Theft!) and did not include sensitive bits like credit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords. "The website was out of date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony," the beleaguered electronics company said. It's unclear how Sony was able to remove the website as quickly as it evidently did. Late last night, Sony re-adjusted its timeline for reactivating PSN, originally expected to be back online in some form this week, citing the need for further testing.

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