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Twitter error blamed for mass user password reset

Oops! The social network says it was wrong when it sent an e-mail to many users saying that their passwords had been reset in response to a security issue at another site.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil

Many Twitter users vented their concern and frustration Monday upon learning from a Twitter e-mail that their passwords had been reset due to a possible security issue with a third-party Web site -- an exercise in security triggered by accident.

"Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter," the e-mail sent to users said. "We've reset your password to prevent accessing your account."

However, a Twitter spokesperson told CNET that the password reset e-mails had been sent in error.

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

Twitter did not reveal how many users were affected by the password reset.

This isn't the first time Twitter has unnecessarily reset user passwords. The micro-blogging platform suffered a security breach in November 2012, leading to a mass password reset. However, the company admitted that it unintentionally reset the passwords for a much larger group of users than those actually believed to have been compromised.