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Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate hacked, campaign Twitter account turned into NFT page


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A potential Democratic opponent of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial race was hacked in a phishing attack, with his campaign Twitter account turned into an internet art marketplace.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only elected statewide Democrat in the Sunshine State, was reportedly hit by a phishing attack over the weekend that left her account peddling non-fungible tokens “Skulltoons”, or NFT.

Fried is one of several Democrats trying to grab their party’s nomination to face DeSantis this year for the Florida Keys.

DEMOCRATIC FLORIDA GOVERNMENT CANDIDATE FRIED TO BE ON TRIAL ON ETHICS CHARGES

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried at Knight Concert Hall, Miami, Fla. on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (Gustavo Cabellero/NBC News/MSNBC/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

skullsis a series of popular NFTs that take the form of anime characters with skull faces in various clothing and themes.

The DeSantis campaign weighed in on the hack, saying that while they were happy the Democrat’s account had been restored, they hoped Fried would be inspired to focus more on his job than his campaign.

“Nikki Fried is Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, an elected official whose responsibility is to protect Floridians from fraud,” DeSantis campaign press secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News Digital in a statement Monday.

“Based on her statement, it appears she’s fallen into one of the more common fraud methods, phishing (but her communications director spelled it ‘fishing’),” Pushaw continued. “We are glad his account has been restored and hope this experience inspires him to focus more on his work for our state rather than campaigning against Governor DeSantis all day.”

Nikki Fried, Commissioner for Agriculture, speaks during the "Ride with Biden" event on October 7, 2020.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried speaks at the ‘Ridin’ with Biden’ event on October 7, 2020.
(Reuters)

Pushaw was referring to a press release issued by the Fried team in which the term “phishing” – a type of social engineering hack – was misspelled as “fishing”, like sports.

“Phishing is a cybercrime in which one or more targets are contacted via email, phone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution in order to trick individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, bank and credit card information and passwords”, the anti-phishing group phishing.org defines cybercrime.

“The information is then used to gain access to important accounts and can lead to identity theft and financial loss,” the website continues.

Pushaw also pointed out online that she “knew [Fried’s] the fundraising numbers were bad, but I didn’t think she would get this desperate.”

DeSantis’ campaign wasn’t alone in targeting Fried for the hack — one of the commissioner’s Democratic opponents, progressive Annette Taddeo, made a public service announcement about campaign donations after the hack.

“PSA: I don’t take crypto donations,” she joked.

Fried’s Twitter hack happened the same week as her cleaned house in its comms store as part of a campaign-wide reset.

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The hack saw Fried’s Twitter account with over 200,000 followers turn into a page meant to peddle NFTs, but likely opening up his followers to be hacked as well.

Fried’s campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the hack.


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