Interactive fitness app raises security concerns after revealing location of secret US military bases

The map showed the movements within Bagram air base in Afghanistan (Strava)

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.

The Global Heat Map, published by the GPS tracking company Strava, uses satellite information to map the locations and movements of subscribers to the company’s fitness service over a two-year period, by illuminating areas of activity.

Strava says it has 27 million users around the world, including people who own widely available fitness devices such as Fitbit, as well as people who directly subscribe to its mobile app.

The map is not live, but shows a pattern of accumulated activity between 2015 and September 2017.

The map shows a great deal of activity in the US and Europe, but in war zones and deserts in countries such as Iraq and Syria the heat map becomes almost entirely dark – except for scattered evidence of activity.

A closer look at those areas brings into focus the locations and outlines of well-known US military bases, as well as other lesser-known and potentially sensitive sites – possibly because American soldiers and other personnel are using fitness trackers as they move around.

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The Global Heat Map was posted online in November 2017, but the information it contains was only publicised recently.

The data could provide information to someone who wants to attack or ambush troops, the Washington Post reported.

Strava says it has 27 million users around the world, including people who own widely available fitness devices such as Fitbit (Wikipedia/stock photo)

Military officials are looking into the situation to determine how to respond.

Department of Defence (DoD) spokeswoman Major Audricia Harris said: ”The DoD takes matters like these very seriously and is reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required, and if any additional policy must be developed to ensure the continued safety of DoD personnel at home and abroad.”

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