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article imageLarge number of Twitter user passwords reset due to compromise

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 8, 2012 in Internet
Reports are surfacing today that a large number of Twitter users may have found they aren't able to access their accounts. The reason for this is that Twitter has reset the passwords for a "large number" of accounts.
Several media reports are indicating that a large number of users could not log into their Twitter accounts on Thursday morning. Reportedly, many users did receive an email from Twitter saying passwords were reset due to a possible security breach.
According to Computerworld (via IDG News Service), an email went out at approximately 2:30 a.m. to many users that said, "Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We've reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account."
IDG News noted that many users initially were worried the email was from a scammer trying to lure users into clicking on the links included in the email that was purportedly from Twitter.
Security experts typically advise people never to automatically click on links that arrive in email because this could, in fact, lead to an actual compromise. Hackers typically will use phishing emails that include fear tactics, such as a security breach, in order to trick people into giving up information, a popular form of social engineering.
TechCrunch did get a confirmation from Twitter that the email was real.
According to Twitter, not everyone who received a "reset" email was compromised, but seems to possibly be a precautionary measure. Some accounts had been hacked, however, as TechCrunch confirmed their own account had been compromised.
TechCrunch shared Twitter's statement (which has also been posted by Twitter here)
We’re committed to keeping Twitter a safe and open community. As part of that commitment, in instances when we believe an account may have been compromised, we reset the password and send an email letting the account owner know this has happened along with information about creating a new password. This is a routine part of our processes to protect our users.
In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused. As always, we recommend that people review these tips on how to keep their Twitter accounts secure: .
Even if you didn't get an email, this might be a good time to reset your password. At this time, it is unclear what type of security breach occurred.
More about Twitter, user passwords, Data breach, account compromise