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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."

Go deeper

DeSantis declares state of emergency after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: The executive order will allow for federal assistance as the state continues its search-and-rescue operations. Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by mid-afternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference.

46 mins ago - World

Afghan president visits D.C. amid growing fears of Taliban takeover

An Afghan soldier stands guard at a mosque in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was making his way to Washington to meet with President Biden, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the U.S. intelligence community believes his government may be toppled within six months of America's withdrawal.

Why it matters: As the Taliban gains territory and the U.S. pulls its remaining forces out, hopes of a potential peace deal in Afghanistan are giving way to fears of a rapid Taliban capture of Kabul.

56 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Bipartisan group of senators urges Blinken to vaccinate Americans abroad

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading an effort urging the Biden administration to coordinate with the Defense Department to donate supplemental COVID-19 vaccine doses to U.S. embassies and consulates.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans living in countries where they are not considered eligible for the vaccine or those living in places where vaccines are not being authorized by the FDA or the World Health Organization may have to wait for months or even years to receive a vaccine.