Every one of us currently has at least one internet-connected smart device, which makes This specific question even more prominent —how much does your smart device know about you?
Over the weekend, the common fitness tracking app Strava proudly published a “2017 heat map” showing activities by its users around the globe, yet unfortunately, the map revealed what the idea shouldn’t—locations of the United States military bases worldwide.
Strava which markets itself as a “social-networking app for athletes” publicly made available the global heat map, showing the location of all the rides, runs, swims, along with downhills taken by its users, as collected by their smartphones along with wearable devices like Fitbit.
Since Strava has been designed to track users’ routes along with locations, IUCA analyst Nathan Ruser revealed in which the app might have unintentionally mapped out the location of some of the military forces around the globe, especially some secret ones by the United States.
that has a total of one billion activities logged on the Strava’s activity map, the idea is usually a whole lot of useful data by all over the globe.
Although Strava’s publicly available activity map was live as of November 2017, Ruser recently noticed in which the map includes the fitness routes of army soldiers along with agents in secret base locations, including U.S. military bases in Afghanistan along with Syria, a suspected CIA base in Somalia along with even Area 51.
Besides American military bases, the map also revealed the UK’s RAF Mount Pleasant airbase within the Falkland Islands, Lake Macphee along with Gull Island Pond, among others. Russian bases have also been showed up by the Strava data.
What’s more? Security experts on Twitter have also discovered potentially sensitive American military bases in Somalia, Afghanistan along with Syria; secret Russian military bases in Ukraine; a secret missile base in Taiwan, as well as an NSA base in Hawaii.
Ruser said in which the map allowed him to find out regular jogging routes for military personnel, which is usually bad news for security, as the idea establishes reliable “pattern of life” information in which would certainly otherwise be secret by the rest of the globe.
“If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning the idea on tracking when they go to do exercise, the idea could be especially dangerous. This specific particular track looks like the idea logs a regular jogging route. I shouldn’t be able to establish any Pattern of life info by This specific far away,” Ruser tweeted.
Should Strava be blamed entirely because of This specific revelation?
Strava said its heat map is usually based only on publically available data, along with the company does offer a private mode in which allows its users to turn off data sharing outside of the app.
However, the idea appears in which many American along with foreign military personnel using the app were sharing the confidential information publicly—perhaps without the knowledge or realising the implication, which is usually terrible.
What’s even worse?
A security researcher told the Washington Post in which This specific publically available data could even help enemy forces plan an “attack or ambush U.S. troops in or around the bases.”
To make things even worse, some experts have also found ways to deanonymize the Strava heatmap, identifying individuals along with their location where they have been exercising.
Strava has reminded its users in which they could turn off location services for the app along with in which the map does not include private activities or areas deemed private.
“Our global heat map represents an aggregated along with anonymised view of over a billion activities uploaded to our platform,” Strava said in a statement. “the idea excludes activities in which have been marked as private along with user-defined privacy zones. We are committed to helping people better understand our settings to give them control over what they share.”
The incident is usually a great reminder for people, especially for those working in or around sensitive locations, to turn off location sharing services for everything.
Moreover, militaries should also consider limiting smartphones along with wearables use in sensitive areas as well as educate their soldiers on the importance of privacy.