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Security risk: Fitness app shows Dutch military patrol routes in Mali

Security risk: Fitness app shows Dutch military patrol routes in Mali

Soldiers creating online "heat maps" when they run or cycle have accidentally shown where sensitive sites are located, reports state. Strava is being actively being used by military personnel in confidential areas allowing data about top-secret military locations to be discovered.

The Post added that other journalists on Twitter were also weighing in on what they identified to be US military bases.

The data exposed by the heatmap is not limited to USA military bases.

Though the heatmap was posted a few months ago, it was only made public over the weekend after Nathan Ruser, an Australian student studying worldwide security and the Middle East, discovered it.

Scroll through Strava's heat map and your favourite local routes lite up.

The Post reported that by zooming in on war zones and deserts in countries like Iraq and Syria, locations and outlines of known USA military bases could be seen - along with other unknown and potentially sensitive sites.

"It was very clear to see what you knew were USA bases lighting up so much clearer than any of the rest of the country", Ruser told ABC News on Monday.

Analyst Tobias Schneider tweeted that "fitness and social media company Strava releases activity heat map". It is billed as being the "largest, riches, and most attractive dataset of its kind", but it's also proving a little too revealing for some military personnel.

The problem lies among a portion of the Strava user base.

The global heatmap contains more than 1 billion activities logged on Strava from 2015 through September 2017. Giving away your data to a service can have its implications, especially when there is an open-for-all platform where anyone can have a look at the information.

The security implication of the Global Heat Map, which was uploaded in November 2017, was publicized by 20-year-old Australian worldwide security student and Institute for United Conflict Analysts founding member Nathan Ruser. Furthermore, users of the app do have the option to make their activities public or private, and Strava says it has never included private data in its maps.

He said there would be some Australian soldiers using the app while training in Australia, but he doubted anyone deployed overseas would be using it. "Furthermore, operational security requirements provide further guidance for military personnel supporting operations around the world".

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