Military personnel are giving away locations of top security bases on training runs.
With smart watches and fitness watches becoming more and more popular as well as many people carrying mobile phones on their runs using run tracking apps that track their location using GPS, are now giving away military bases around the globe, including top secret locations such as a suspected CIA base in Mogadichu.
A training route around a suspected CIA base in Mogadishu was revealed
The Strava Fitness Tracking is one of many running apps available to download onto your phone, and is part of a sucurity nightmare that has put locations of even secret bases on the map in the public domain, along with military personnel routines.
Strava activity Heatmap
Strava’s ‘heatmap’ publicly shows every activity that has ever been used by the apps users. Stravas response has been “a direct visualisation of Strava’s global network of athletes, showing the running routes and the worldwide locations of where people work out.” The global military security issue that was recently pointed out by Nathan Ruser (a member of the Institute For United Conflicts Analysts).
The information reveals details about base locations, personnel routines and more in places such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and even UK & US home bases such as Hereford & Area 51. It is true, that many of these bases are known through Google Maps, satellite images, and via local sources, but the data gives away sensitive information such as the location of living quarters, staff movements within the walls, training routes, and patrolled areas. One large base, which isn’t visible on satellite images, can be seen on the Strava map.
As the app is popular among Western soldiers, there are hotspot areas at bases in the Middle East and Africa. The app also shows a UK RAF base in the Falklands and a French base in Niger. It even shows activity at a Russian base in Syria. Ruser said “If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning it on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially dangerous, I thought the best way to deal with it is to make the vulnerabilities known so they can be fixed”.
Strava points out that users can disable location sharing, but it’s possible that not everyone knows about the setting. The company said the data was anonymous, and it “excludes activities that have been marked as private and user-defined privacy zones.” Speaking to The Washington Post, Air Force Colonel John Thomas, a spokesperson for the US Central Command, said the military was examining “the implications of the map.”