The fitness app Strava recently published a heat map online showing the paths their users took when out for a jog.
With 27 million users worldwide, it’s an excellent tool to track your fitness data, and compare it to the performances of others. Unfortunately, Strava may have revealed a bit too much info with their latest update.
While browsing a cartography map early last week, Australian student Nathan Ruser noticed a map with some fairly interesting patterns in Afghanistan. Ruser determined that military personnel uploading their personal data created a heat map, and revealed the location of, a secret military base.
While knowing the location of the military base is a problem in and of itself, the data could also potentially reveal which bases are most highly populated, and th routes soldiers take on patrols which could open up a bevy of more problems.
Ruser told the BBC, “I just looked at it and thought, ‘oh hell, this should not be here – this is not good. I thought the best way to deal with it is to make the vulnerabilities known so they can be fixed. Someone would have noticed it at some point. I just happened to be the person who made the connection.”
Maj Audricia Harris, a spokeswoman from the US Department of Defense said of the situation,the department takes “matters like these very seriously and is reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required.”