Your Twitter account is fine – Mass password reset stemmed from a system error, not a hack

4 March 2014, 8:13 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps


A mass Twitter password reset had numerous users on edge with concerns of phishing or having their accounts compromised, but it was just an error.

Starting on Monday, March 3, a slew of Twitter users began to panic upon receiving emails that their Twitter passwords had been reset due to a potential security issue with a third-party website. Yes, the emails came from Twitter and they were real, not a hoax. No, there's no actual security issue, no phishing attempt, and no accounts compromised, just an error.

As it turns out, it was a security warning triggered by accident. Someone at Twitter must've hit the wrong button and sent password reset emails to many Twitter users, but no accounts were actually hacked.

"Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter," read the notification email. "We've reset your password to prevent accessing your account."

As expected, these emails caused a lot of frustration among Twitter users, who believed there was a real security issue affecting their accounts. A Twitter spokesperson, however, has now acknowledged that the emails in question had been sent by accident, and there's nothing more than an error.

"We unintentionally sent some password reset notices tonight due to a system error," the company reckoned in a statement to CNET. "We apologize to the affected users for the inconvenience."

The company offered no additional details regarding this incident, nor has it revealed how many users were affected by this mass password reset. Not all Twitter users have received these emails, but it is believed that this error affected quite a considerable number of people.

If you take a walk down memory lane, however, you may remember that a similar issue has occurred before, as this is not the first time that Twitter has reset some user passwords by accident. Back in November 2012, Twitter faced a security breach, which prompted a mass password reset. Shortly afterwards, the micro-blogging company acknowledged that it had in fact unintentionally reset the passwords for far more users than those who had actually had their accounts compromised.

While that set a precedent, the difference compared to the latest mass password reset is that there was no security breach at all this time. In conclusion, if you received an email from Twitter saying that your account may have been compromised, fret not. It was just a system error and your account is fine. 



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