The Washington Post

Twitter ‘unintentionally’ sends flood of password reset e-mails

Twitter logo is displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on March 11, 2011 in California. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

A technical problem at Twitter caused users to report a flood of password reset e-mails hitting their inboxes Thursday, initially raising concerns that an attack on the company had compromised several accounts.

According to TechCrunch, Twitter said that, in the course of its normal checks for compromised accounts, the company “unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts” than was necessary.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment but did post a statement on its status blog. “We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused,” the company wrote.

Users reported Thursday morning that they were getting e-mails telling them their account passwords had been changed, and offering instructions on how to update their log-in credentials.

This could serve as a reminder to Twitter users who’ve been meaning to change their passwords to head to the network’s Web site to do so. Users can change their passwords through the settings menu. If you can’t get into your account, check your spam folder to see if Twitter has sent you a password reset e-mail.

Twitter has confirmed it has sent official notices but it’s normally a good idea not to click on links you get when you receive unexpected notice of a password change to avoid phishing scams.

In this case, Twitter has provided a link to let users reset their passwords, but you should paste that link into your address bar or type it in manually. Also, make sure that it leads to, and not to a site that’s trying to take advantage of today’s confusion to scam users.

This story has been updated.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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