Strava's global heatmap highlights locations of sensitive military bases through personnel's activities


Strava's global heatmap highlights locations of sensitive military bases through personnel's activities

Stretches of road are also highlighted, indicating that Strava users kept their devices on while traveling, potentially providing details about commonly-taken routes.

The Global Heat Map, published by GPS tracking company Strava - which has around 27 millions users - uses satellite information to show the movement of people using it.

The heatmap is built up from a billion activities and three trillion pieces of location data, and it reveals the location of bases in the US, Syria, Australia and numerous other countries.

The map shows public activities uploaded to the service, with the idea to show where people are exercising.

Another Twitter user claimed to have found a Patriot missile system site in Yemen. Plenty more were revealed by Ruser himself, such as a Russian and Turkish patrols near Khmeimim.

Strava allows users to capture maps of the routes followed while carrying out exercise like jogging, which are publicly visible if set to Public rather than Private.

He also pointed on Twitter that it was possible to locate jogging routes for soldiers, who had the app on for tracking during these activities, which is unsafe.

And the fallout of this remains to be seen.

We'd also bet that there'll be plenty of briefings over the next couple of days regarding the use of the platform in and around sensitive military areas.

Cybersecurity and privacy researcher John Scott-Railton wrote in a blog post that in just an hour he was able to "identify several covert and non-declared operating bases, diplomatic outposts, and possible intelligence facilities in several ongoing conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East".

Australian student Nathan Ruser. pointed out via Twitter the heat map easily identifies and maps US military bases, including remote areas of operation. The data points on the heatmap don't give away any personal information on Strava users, just their routes.

Although the data was released in November 2017, a member of the Institute for United Conflict Analysts (UCA), Nathan Ruser, only recently found that trails from Strava users in various countries could bust the military locations of the US and other nations.

Other easily identifiable bases include those used by the USA in Syria and Iraq, a UK RAF base in the Falklands, and one used by French forces in Niger. The fitness app does not exclusively allow people to find sensitive US information. More concerning is that the data can be scraped to get a list of those that have travelled a route.

The result is potentially damning for the United States military's operational security.



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