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Twitter: A few hacked accounts, many reset passwords

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Jeff Chiu/AP/File

(Read caption) The Twitter logo hangs in the company's San Francisco offices in this file photo. Twitter said Thursday that it had accidentally expanded a routine security procedure to many of its users, resetting passwords and sending out warning emails.

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If you’re among those who received an email from Twitter asking you to reset your password -- don’t worry, your account (probably) wasn’t hacked. This is just what it looks like when Twitter accidentally loops way too many people into a routine security procedure.

Since Twitter is such a big platform, at any given time there are a few accounts that might have been compromised. When Twitter sees activity that indicates an account has been hacked, it automatically resets that account’s password to lock out intruders and sends the user a warning email about what’s going on. Twitter reminded everyone on Thursday that the procedure is “a routine part of our processes to protect our users.”

But the company accidentally cast the net way too wide, resetting the passwords of many accounts and sending out emails to all those users warning them of suspicious activity. There definitely were some attacks on accounts Thursday morning – Natasha Lomas at TechCrunch describes how the website's handle was hacked, for example -- but Twitter isn’t being besieged by hackers. Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner told Reuters that there had not been a security breach.

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