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Strava inadvertently unveils location of secret military bases

Joe Robinson
29 Jan 2018

Popular exercise app Strava accidentally unearths the location of US military bases and other secret sites worldwide

Fitness tracker app Strava has accidentally revealed the location of multiple secret military bases worldwide through its annual heatmap.

Strava published its worldwide heatmap last November yet this potential security breach only came to light this weekend when noticed by Australian student Nathan Ruser.

In a series of tweets, Ruser highlighted concentrations of activity had been recorded throughout 2017 in remote locations such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, making it possible to locate these bases.

Multiple running routes were flagged by Ruser with others subsequently finding further military bases through the heatmap. 

Areas such as Mogadishu, Somalia and Kandahar, Afghanistan showed hotspots of activity centring around compounds that are easily visible via satellite.

Questions will now be asked of users of the app within the military.

Strava promises that information towards its heatmap is only taken from activities that are on public view meaning that military personnel are sharing information of their location publicly potentially putting their safety at risk.

While it appears the app is not at fault for this latest privacy issue it is not the first time issues of security have been raised around the GPS app.

In 2015, Strava issued a warning to its users regarding its privacy settings after it was suggested that thieves had been using the app to track potential victims.

Mark Leigh of Greater Manchester had two bikes stolen and stated that he was targeted due to knowledge of his whereabouts through Strava. 

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