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Nikki Fried describes the phishing attack as an example of a larger cybersecurity problem

Agriculture Commissioner Fried Nikki speaks out on the intrusion that briefly turned his Twitter account from a campaign platform into an advertising platform for an NFT auction.

The hack highlights the importance of broader cybersecurity, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat currently running for governor said Tuesday.

Fried also says the compromised credentials were limited to the campaign’s Twitter account, not extending to state databases such as those controlled by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fried’s Twitter account was pirate for what his campaign calls a “phishing attack,” a phonetic description that led to laughter from the right (including Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ spokesperson Christina Pushaw), even earning a trolling tweet from another Democratic representative. charlie christone of her rivals for the gubernatorial nomination.

Amid questions about whether state resources were compromised, Fried reiterated to reporters after the event that the intrusion only involved his campaign Twitter account.

“First of all, there was no compromise on anything on the official side. It was all on the campaign side,” Fried said before describing the incident in broader geopolitical terms.

“But I think it showed our state and our country that we have a cybersecurity problem. And that we need to put more time, resources and education into people to make sure things like this don’t happen,” Fried said.

“Obviously we heard the president Joe Biden yesterday to put the country on high alert with the war in Ukraine,” Fried added. “That the next attacks could be cyber. This is something that people need to be aware of, that we need to spend resources on. We need to ensure that our cybersecurity teams across the state and across our country are strengthened.

“As you can see,” Fried added. “If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”

We asked Fried if the account access issue was related to staff turnover on his political team, which has seen a reshuffle in recent weeks amid a larger reset. She said that was not the case.

“As soon as a staff member comes or goes who has access to my Twitter account,” Fried claimed, “we change the passwords quite regularly.”


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