Twitter informed thousands of its users on Monday that it accidentally reset users' passwords, following an apparent hacking attempt. But then it turned out the hack attack Relevant Products/Services had not happened and that few if any passwords were reset, so the giant social network Relevant Products/Services has issued an apology.

In an e-mail to its users from password@twitter.com, the company said that it believed "your account may have been compromised by a Web site or service not associated with Twitter." As a result, Twitter said, it "reset your password to prevent accessing your account," and the user was asked to establish a new password.

But, it turned out, there was no security Relevant Products/Services breach. Reportedly, some kind of issue with another site triggered the security alert. Some reports have said that no passwords were reset, although a few users have reported that theirs have been.

'System Error'

One user, @MichelleRafter, tweeted: "So yesterday my account didn't get hacked. I was in 1 percent of account @Twitter accidentally reset."

In a subsequent statement, the company said that it "unintentionally sent some password reset notices tonight due to a system Relevant Products/Services error," and it apologized "to the affected users for the inconvenience." Twitter has not said how many users were affected, or why the company thought a hacking attack had taken place but then changed its mind.

The first instinct of a savvy user would be that the e-mail itself was part of a phishing attempt to trick a user into thinking that new login credentials were needed.

One user, @V3CEO, tweeted: "Beware of phishing emails just got one from password@twitter.com asking me to reset password looked realistic"

Another use, @rubinafillion, tweeted: "Did you get a scary e-mail from Twitter about your account being hacked? You can probably ignore it." This tweet contained a link to a story about the false alarm.

'Competing Log Cabins'

Another user, @gaberivera, referenced Twitter's recent installation of two vintage log cabins inside its San Francisco headquarters: "Twitter password reset snafu actually collateral damage from an internal battle between competing log cabins."

This is not the first time that Twitter has reset passwords because of a security-related issue. In November 2012, a similar incident occurred, when the company asked users to reset their logins when they attempted to sign in, because of a hack.

But on that occasion, there actually was a security breach as Twitter's own account spammed ads to users. Until it fixed the problem, the company requested that users not click on those links.

E-mails containing links to reset passwords were sent to user accounts that had been compromised, and those users were required to submit their phone number, e-mail address or Twitter handle before receiving the reset e-mail. The reset e-mail did not request the old password.

In a blog post following that incident, Twitter noted that it had erred on the side of caution. "We unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts," the post said, "beyond those that we believe to have been compromised."