Friday, 23 February, 2018

Fitness App Strava Published 'Heat Map' Details About Secret Military Bases

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Lori Graves | 30 January, 2018, 00:58

USA soldiers may have inadvertently mapped remote military bases including in sensitive locations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, through publicly sharing their jogging routes with a Global Positioning System tracking app. According to an article in The Daily Beast, the fitness-tracker app exposes security flaw at Taiwan's missile command centre.

The number of sensitive establishments known to be visible on the Strava heatmap continues to grow, as security analysts continue to scour the map. It is billed as being the "largest, riches, and most handsome dataset of its kind", but it's also proving a little too revealing for some military personnel. Many people on social media and other online forums are working on combining rumors, known information, and the Strata activity map to locate possible Central Intelligence Agency facilities and the like, according to the newspaper.

The map, first made public in November, displayed what he suggested was a Turkish patrol north of Manbij in Syria, a Russian operating area in Khmeimim and a potential regular jogging route in mountainous terrain.

Using the data Russer pointed out military bases in a number of conflict zones where United States military are based.

"Big OPSEC [operations security] and PERSEC [personal security] fail", tweeted Nick Waters, a former British army officer who pinpointed the location of his former base in Afghanistan using the map. He said that private locations had already been removed from the map. More concerning is that the data can be scraped to get a list of those that have travelled a route.

Ruser said: "If you ask me, I don't expect the map will be online for that much longer".

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GPS company Strava Labs recently unveiled their Global Heat Map, an interactive map that shows users where people are tracking their workouts the most.

In large cities and well-known locations, the highlighted routes are hardly surprising, with dense urban areas lit up brightly compared to unpopulated areas or places without many app users.

According to Strava's privacy policy, depending on how accounts were set up, information and content may be accessible to the public. By using Strava in these secret military bases, the app just gave away their locations.

The app details American bases in Syria and Iraq, a French facility in Niger and a UK RAF military site located in the Falklands.

In a statement published by the BBC, Strava said that the global heatmap excludes private activities. "We are committed to helping people better understand our settings to give them control over what they share", Strava told the Washington Post in a statement.

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