Fitness trackers accidentally details U.S. military base, troop global locations


"Big opsec and persec fail", tweeted Nick Waters, a former British Army officer who pinpointed the location of his former base in Afghanistan using the map. Now with a little nous you can cross reference the conflict zone with heat map and have a good stab at identifying the location of a military base; after all, we doubt many fitness raves are held in the depths of Afghanistan.

Australian student Nathan Ruser, who revealed the issue on Saturday, said the map "looks very pretty, but not incredible for Op-Sec [Operational Security]".

The heat maps track "life patterns" of users, including their routes, how often these routes are frequented, and their position as they move, according to the BBC.

Secret military bases are reportedly being exposed online as the result of soldiers using fitness apps that highlight their exercises route on an interactive map.

Both the US military and Strava say they are addressing the problem.

Global Positioning System tracking company Strava used satellite information to map the locations and movements of the company's fitness service between 2015 and 2017. Strava scrambled to respond, noting that all users have the ability to set activities to private so they're not included in the Heatmap. But one unforeseen circumstance has been how neatly soldiers' jogging routes also reveal the layout and design of top secret military bases. It added that Strava's map provided additional context such as how people were moving about in those areas and how frequently they were doing so.

A fitness app has accidentally exposed the location of secret USA military bases, raising security fears over soldiers stationed there.

Lesser-known installations and convoy routes were also decipherable when athletes' movement data was aggregated and visualized, he said.

Strava said in a statement to CNN that the company is "committed to helping people better understand" its privacy settings. As the government and military work to evaluate and contend with potential security flaws, it'll be up to the people using the app to be mindful of how they're using their devices.

However, militaries around the world said they are contemplating banning fitness trackers to prevent future breaches. But parts of Africa and the Middle East were entirely dark except for scattered dots of light in those areas.

Strava - which includes an option for keeping users' workout data private - published the updated Heat Map late previous year. The service allows users to create multiple "privacy zones" with a radius of up to 1km.