Strava heatmap

  • An interactive heatmap from Strava appears to have exposed sensitive sites.
  • Hackers or state actors could use the information to find bases.
  • Chinese, Taiwanese, and other nations’ bases were exposed too, but as the US has the biggest global presence, it stands the most to lose.

Over the weekend a company called Strava, a social network for athletes, updated an online heatmap which mapped out the routes of 1 billion workouts in 2017.

But in doing so, it seems to have expose secret US military in Turkey, Syria, and Yemen.

Strava drew on data from fitness trackers, like fitbits or smartphones, to track their workouts. But fitness tracker users skew western, young, and active. In countries like Niger, the heatmap highlights the activity of US soldiers on military bases keeping fit.

The result is potentially damning for the US military’s operational security.

Agadez Niger base

Previously covert bases may have been exposed. More importantly, the useful parts of the base have been highlighted. The heatmap shows that military personnel commonly jog around the perimeter of bases, thereby printing an outline on the heatmap.

Additionally, some may have left the trackers on while going about normal business. Important supply routes and key daily routines have likely been picked up by the heatmap.

“In Syria, known coalition (ie US) bases light up the night,” wrote military writer and analyst Tobias Schneider.

“Some light markers over known Russian positions, no notable colouring for Iranian bases … A lot of people are going to have to sit through lectures come Monday morning.”

But the most dangerous element of the heatmap isn’t the aggregated lines, it’s the potential to Read More Here