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Twitter spams users with erroneous password reset warnings

08 Nov 2012

Twitter unintentionally reset the passwords for multiple user accounts following a small data breach.

The social networking site sent out emails urging multiple users to reset their password, warning their accounts may have been compromised. Twitter said the emails were sent out unintentionally, as not all accounts whose passwords were reset got hacked.

"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," Twitter wrote in a blog post.

"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 apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused."

Twitter reset the password for high profile accounts like @TechCrunch. The technology news site reported that only one false tweets was sent out before it was able to reset its password.

The social networking firm didn't confirm how many user accounts were hacked. However, the site said in its statement that a large group of the accounts that were reset didn't get breached.

This isn't the first time this year that a Twitter hack has made headlines. Last August, the Twitter account for news organisation Reuters was hit by a hacker. The attacker changed the firms Twitter handle from @ReutersTech to @ReutersME before the firm had the chance to close the breach.

Twitter also made headlines during this years US presidential election. The social media site broke a usage record when it recorded over 327,452 tweets being sent out per minute during election night.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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