An unknown number of Twitter accounts have been “compromised,” the microblogging service revealed Thursday morning. And in its efforts to inform users, Twitter has turned a small problem into a doozy.
“We unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised,” company spokeswoman Christina Thiry told FoxNews.com, repeating a statement posted on the company blog. “We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.”
In other words, your account may have been affected, or it may not have -- but in either case, you should probably reset your Twitter password.
When asked if Twitter was hacked or if this was a security breach, Twitter said no. The company told FoxNews.com it resets passwords routinely to protect users for a variety of reasons.
Twitter declined to provide the exact reason in this case.
The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report blog reported that the accounts of a number of prominent China activists, journalists, and even a political cartoonist received warnings that their accounts had been compromised.
“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,” Twitter explained on its site.
That said, many U.S. users reported that they had received the notification as well, and since Twitter acknowledged that it had overbroadcast the alert, the scope of the problem and causes for it remain unclear.
The company said that only a very small percentage of its more than 140 million users had their passwords affected.