It’s already the second time that the activity platform Strava was used to track the location of military. In this case it were Israelian Soldiers. According to The Guardian the soldiers were tracked by a not-identified party while they were on their secret military bases.
The soldiers were trackable due to segments in and around the bases that were created by spies. The Guardian has seen an example of a soldier that was followed on a military bases and when traveling abroad. The Strava-user works for a highly secret bases that is possibly part of Israel’s nuclear program, the paper writes.
The spying was discovered by an Israeli cyber protection firm called FakeReporter. Strava has been notified and FakeReporter has assigned a team to solve the issue. The digital shadowing was possible, because segments can be uploaded through GPS-files. Strava has no ability to review these GPS-files and find out whether people actually visited these places themselves.
It’s not the first time that Strava has exposed such information. In 2018 Strava’s Global Heat Map showed “secret” paths that are not visible in Google Maps or other public maps. The Strava Global Heat Map lights up in places where paths are regularly used by athletes with the Strava application. As the surroundings remain dark, you can clearly spot activity. That’s how some military bases in Afghanistan and Syria were located.
Strava responded by creating a new version that doesn’t show the less-frequently used routes. Also, the company notified people that they can disable their location settings, which makes their data no longer available for heat maps.