Apr 28, 2017

These Google Play apps are a hacker's dream

Bram.Koster via Flickr CC

Tens of thousands of Android smartphone users are left open to hacks due to a backdoor vulnerability in the Google Play app store. Hackers can use that backdoor in the apps, including Wifi File Transfer and AirDroid, to wiggle into these smartphones with one of the most basic hacking techniques.

How it works: Apps in Google Play essentially turn the phone into a server, which allows users to connect to their phone from their computer via a "port."

Why it matters: That "port" is also open to hackers who can steal data, like contacts or photos. Hackers can also install malware. And it's not just one or two apps; University of Michigan researchers found 1,632 apps opening this kind of port.

The kicker: As one of the researchers, Yunhuan Jia, put it: "The user can do nothing. Google can do nothing."

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U.S. and Taliban sign peace deal

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement during a ceremony in Qatar. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on Saturday after over a year of off-and-on negotiations, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The signing of the deal officially begins the process to end the United States' longest war, which has spanned nearly two decades. The agreement sets a timetable to pull the remaining 13,000 American troops out of Afghanistan, per the Times, but is contingent on the Taliban's completion of commitments, including breaking ties with international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda.

Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health