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There was widespread panic on Twitter overnight as dozens of accounts were hacked including those belonging to Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Apple.

The co-ordinated Twitter hacks all featured scam messages about Bitcoin and asked for users to send them Bitcoin currency which they would then double.

“Everyone is asking me to give back,” a tweet from Mr Gates’ account said. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

Twitter were quick to limit the hacked accounts by preventing hundreds of accounts from Tweeting over a two-hour period.

“We limited functionality for a much larger group of accounts, like all verified accounts (even those with no evidence of being compromised), while we continue to fully investigate this,” Twitter said. “This was disruptive, but it was an important step to reduce risk.”

Worst social media attack in history

Dmitri Alperovitch, the co-founder of cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters news agency: “This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet.”

And another cyber-security expert told the BBC that it could have been much worse!

“If you were to have this kind of incident take place in the middle of a crisis, where Twitter was being used to either communicate de-escalatory language or critical information to the public, and suddenly it’s putting out the wrong messages from several verified status accounts – that could be seriously destabilising,” Dr Alexi Drew from King’s College London told the BBC.

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