A running app popular with soldiers has caused a major headache for the Pentagon as its global heatmap revealed all special operations sites (in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan for example).
Strava, the app’s maker, released their global heatmap a while ago but it was only after zooming in that one of their users noted that “It looks very pretty, but not amazing for Op-Sec. US Bases are clearly identifiable and mappable”.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Strava released their global heatmap. 13 trillion GPS points from their users (turning off data sharing is an option). <a href="https://t.co/hA6jcxfBQI">https://t.co/hA6jcxfBQI</a> … It looks very pretty, but not amazing for Op-Sec. US Bases are clearly identifiable and mappable <a href="https://t.co/rBgGnOzasq">pic.twitter.com/rBgGnOzasq</a></p>— Nathan Ruser (@Nrg8000) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/957318498102865920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 27, 2018</a></blockquote>
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For example, the map of Iraq is mostly dark, indicating limited use of Strava's app (we don’t assume the average Iraqi is really working out in the desert with a phone app much), but a series of well-known military bases where American and US-led anti-jihadist coalition forces have been deployed are highlighted in detail, and of course because of the running map you can make out every detail of the base, just like you would have a map of the place itself.
Military Security Analyst Mr Tobias Schneider said: “In Syria, known coalition (ie US) bases light up the night.”
“Some light markers over known Russian positions, no notable coloring for Iranian bases. A lot of people are going to have to sit through lectures come Monday morning.”
In Iraq, these bases include Taji north of Baghdad, Qayyarah south of Mosul, Speicher near Tikrit and Al-Asad in Anbar Province.
Via Strava near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan was a hive of activity. And so is Qamishli in northwestern Syria, a stronghold of US-allied Kurdish forces.
A goldmine for any ISIS terrorist if you ask us. Maybe turning off data tracking on that phone?