A Fitness Tracker Has Revealed The Locations Of Secret US Military Bases

A Fitness Tracker Has Revealed The Locations Of Secret US Military Bases

The fitness app does not exclusively allow people to find sensitive US information.

Strava and similar apps including Runkeeper are more social than other fitness apps, allowing users to keep track of specific routes they use to run or bike. However, multiple studies have shown that many of these devices also suffer from poor security that can leave users' health data exposed.

Strava, a social network for runners and cyclists to track their workouts via satellite navigation, released a heat map a year ago showing the activity of its users worldwide.

The analyst goes to say that "if soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning it on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially risky".

Apart from overseas military bases such as in Afghanistan, Syria, Djibouti, etc., the Strava map also shows larger known military bases.

In less developed regions, such as the Middle East, American and other foreign military installations tend to light up like Christmas trees on Strava's new map.

It resurfaced over the weekend after it was discovered the map could not only reveal the most popular jogging paths in New York City, but the location of USA service members overseas who often operate in precarious security environments.

The global heatmap contains more than 1 billion activities logged on Strava from 2015 through September 2017. "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.

Strava has pointed out that the activities marked as private by users have not been included in the heatmap, and that activities have been cropped to respect user defined privacy zones. Not only can enemies determine patterns of behavior, but they can also acquire valuable information about activities secret military installations overseas.

Users can ask themselves, do I really want to share my jogging route with the entire Internet?

Speaking to the Washington Post, Air Force Colonel John Thomas said the United States is now analysing the threats posed by publication of the map.

Manning said the review would look at the use of all wearable electronics and smartphones. 13 trillion Global Positioning System points from their users (turning off data sharing is an option). The BBC reported that British military bases in the likes of Malvinas / Falklands lit up on the heatmap, and even a missile command site in Taiwan was highlighted.

Further, although user identity is not public information, Strava Labs, the maker of the app, has access to this data and therefore so potentially do hackers, points out the Daily Beast.

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