Twitter resets passwords of large number of customers

Twitter said that it has mistakenly reset the passwords of "a large number" of its over 140 million active users while conducting routine security screening to identify accounts that might have been compromised.

"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," Twitter said in its blog yesterday.

"In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised."

Carolyn Penner, a spokeswoman for the social-networking site declined to put a number to the Twitter accounts affected by the error, though she denied a security breach.

Meanwhile, Tech Crunch said Twitter was sending out emails to some of its users telling them it had reset their password and asking them to create a new one and if people were not being able to log into their account that might be the reason. It added, lots of users had been affected judging by the amount of tweets about password problems. It said,  British comedy star David Mitchell was one of them.

Twitter has not disclosed in detail the cause of the compromise but said in the email, ''Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter''.

According to Tech Crunch, users who could not log onto their Twitter account, but did not see an email in their inbox should check their spam folder in case the email had been filtered out of their main feed.

Tech Cruch said it reached out to Twitter for more information on the size of the hack but the company failed to provide any info. It said, according to Twitter users who had received emails needed to reset their passwords, (using the provided password resent link), adding that any users who were not able to log into their account could go directly to Twitter.com and reset their password in Settings.