Major Cell Phone Flaws, U.S. Voting Troubles, N.M. Compound Training School Shooters, and More

Major Cell Phone Flaws, U.S. Voting Troubles, Abducted Children Trained as School Shooters, and More
  • Major security flaws have been found in phones provided by all four U.S. major cell phone carriers, a new DHS-funded study finds. While the exact nature of the vulnerabilities are being withheld, they can allow hackers to take control of the devices, Gizmodo reports. The vulnerabilities are built into phones before a customer purchases it, and while millions of U.S. cell phone users are at risk, it’s unclear if hackers have taken advantage of the loophole yet. Even government officials are likely using affected phones, the report notes. Further information is expected to be released later this week. This is just the latest in cell phone vulnerabilities—earlier this week the popular Samsung Galaxy S7 phone was named as one of many devices susceptible to Meltdown, an exploit that could compromise devices affecting hundreds of millions of people. 

  • Following a night of closely-contested U.S. special elections, some states are reviewing voting practices. In Ohio  where an especially close race has played out, election officials have found almost 600 uncounted votes that had not been processed into the tabulation system, making the race even tighter. Provisional and absentee ballots have yet to be counted as well, USA TODAY reports. In Georgia  a recent report found irregularities in the state’s May primaries, including a precinct with a 243-percent voting turnout, Ars Technica reports. The investigation followed claims by voters that they showed up to vote only to be turned away or directed elsewhere, in addition to incorrect ballots and frozen voting machines. And West Virgini​a has announced a program that would allow its residents serving overseas to vote in the November elections via a smartphone app, raising security concerns. The app would require the user to register by taking a photo of their ID and a selfie video, which facial recognition software will use to confirm the user’s identity, CNN reports.

  • Bizarre information continues to emerge from the secretive N​​ew Mexico compound where 11 abused children were held by five people who have been arrested, according to ABC News. The raid on the compound was sparked by a missing boy from Georgia thought to have been taken by his father, Siraj Wahhaj, who lived on the compound. Instead, officials found 11 starved and abused children amidst piles of trash and tires—and later, the remains of a boy the same age as the missing child. As the investigation continues, it was revealed that Wahhaj was training at least some of the children to use assault rifles and carry out school shootings. The compound had a makeshift shooting range and several weapons.

  • In other news, the Trump administration is imposing sanctions against Russia for its poisonings of an ex-Russian agent and his daughter. Hackers have locked down the PGA’s computer systems right before the organization’s golf championship, locking files for banners and logos in hopes that PGA will put money in their Bitcoin wallet. Another large fire in California that has forced the evacuations of 20,000 residents was set inte​ntionally, authorities say. The chilling video of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz’s interrogation has b​een released. A flaw in chat app WhatsApp allows hackers to intercept a​nd manipulate messages.