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Word To The Wise: Change Your Twitter Password

Posted: November 8, 2012

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The micro-blogging service has warned many users that their accounts may have been "compromised" and that they should immediately create new passwords. While details haven't been released about where the threat is coming from, some users are pointing to China.

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The news is spreading that Twitter is warning quite a few users that their accounts may have been compromised and that they should immediately change their passwords.

TechCrunch says, "keep your eyes peeled Twitter users: Twitter is sending out emails to some of its users telling them it has reset their password and asking them to create a new one."

Not surprisingly, many folks are using Twitter to sound the alarm.

What's happened?

Twitter isn't saying, so far (note at 12:25 p.m. ET: see update below). The Tweet Smarter blog notes that:

"These emails often go out when large numbers of Twitter accounts have been hijacked. Sometimes, just to be safe, Twitter will even send these to accounts that have NOT been hijacked, trying to make sure to catch everyone that HAS been hijacked."

Voice of America says there might be a connection to China, where Communist Party officials are beginning the process of choosing a new leader:

"Several China-based foreign journalists and analysts are reporting an attempted hacking of their Twitter accounts, as China's Communist Party begins a sensitive meeting that will set in motion a once-a-decade leadership transition.

"Twitter sent emails early Thursday warning an unknown number of users that their accounts "may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter." The email did not specify who carried out the hacking attempt. It was also sent to several China watchers based outside of the mainland."

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. Twitter Says It Unintentionally Reset Passwords Of Many Accounts.

There's now a statement from Twitter, which says in part that:

"In this case, we unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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