Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Polar’s popular fitness app inadvertently revealed military personnel’s addresses

No running sign Polar’s fitness app made it dangerously easy to track soldiers and secret agents worldwide
Celia Hoffman | 09 July, 2018, 19:11

The Explore component of Polar Flow was meant to show anonymous data on its users and their activities around the globe, displaying it in a similar fashion to the activity map that was responsible for Strava's woes earlier in the year.

A joint investigation from De Correspondent and Bellingcat has revealed that Finnish company Polar's fitness app Polar Flow exposed the geolocation details of its users.

In a similar incident, Strava found itself in hot water in January: it released a heat map showing the fitness activity of its users from around the world, which was an attempt to highlight its active user base - but it inadvertently made it possible to figure out how people move around sensitive locations like foreign military bases. Polar, unlike some other apps, tracks and publishes exercise information in full, including routes, dates, time, duration and place of the exercise. By analyzing the start and end points of workouts, it is reportedly possible to locate the homes of users.

The problem isn't the fitness and monitoring devices, but the data they share publicly on the Polar Flow social platform. As a result, some 6,500 unique users have been identified.

If that wasn't bad enough, many Polar users are publicly sharing their full names and providing a profile picture.

More news: Jean Michael Seri in London to seal Premier League transfer

Among them are U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, Guantanamo Bay, those deployed to the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, staffers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA, military intelligence and cyber security specialists and many others stationed at bases in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. "It is important to understand that Polar has not leaked any data, and there has been no breach of private data", Polar said.

After apparently being notified about the report on its flaws, Polar announced on Friday it was "temporarily" shutting down the Explore API feature, used in Flow. It added that there had been no breach of private data and that it is now "analyzing the best options that will allow Polar customers to continue using the Explore feature while taking additional measures to remind customers to avoid publicly sharing Global Positioning System files of sensitive locations".

If you're a Polar user and aren't keen on having your own data out there for the world to see, make sure you have your profile marked as private (which, thankfully, is the default setting).

Over the weekend, media outlets De Correspondent and Bellingcat reported that they were able to uncover the names of more than 6,400 military and intelligence agency personnel in many countries - simply by looking up their fitness activities in Polar's insecure app.

Recommended

  • Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

    Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns

    Davis said he had left because he feared the European Union would "take what we have offered already and then demand some more. George Freeman, May's former policy chief, said on Twitter that a " no deal " Brexit "just got a lot more likely".
    PSG launch stunning £238m bid for Philippe Coutinho

    PSG launch stunning £238m bid for Philippe Coutinho

    But PSG are reportedly keen on prising Coutinho away from the Nou Camp this summer with a new bumper deal. But Coutinho has rejected PSG in the past.
    Steve Bannon called 'piece of trash' in Richmond bookstore - police called

    Steve Bannon called 'piece of trash' in Richmond bookstore - police called

    The incidents have provoked debate about the breakdown of civility in American politics amid division over Trump's policies. In June, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.
  • 'Federer is Picasso but I am an artist,' claims Mannarino

    'Federer is Picasso but I am an artist,' claims Mannarino

    It was a record opening week in the women's singles, with nine of the top 10 seeds crashing out before the fourth round. I know that Phil Brook, the chairman right now, he believes in strict tradition, going back to the '50s, '60s.
    EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

    EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

    After his work with Inhofe, Wheeler transitioned into a lobbying role with Murray Energy-a company that had a history with Pruitt. Trump said they had been talking about Pruitt's exit for a "little while", adding "He'll go and do great things".
    Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

    Starbucks, citing environment, is ditching plastic straws

    The company will broaden the manufacture and use of what some in social media have dubbed the " adult sippy cup ". Straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the almost 9m tons of plastic waste that hits waters each year.
  • Eden Hazard lavishes praise on Kylian Mbappe

    Eden Hazard lavishes praise on Kylian Mbappe

    The star quantities for the Red Devils though, will be their fluid front trio of Eden Hazard , Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku . On Tuesday, it will be Henry versus France and Henry versus Deschamps, his former teammate for both France and Juventus .
    Travis Pastrana recreates Evel Knievel jump in Las Vegas

    Travis Pastrana recreates Evel Knievel jump in Las Vegas

    Knievel came up short on his attempt at jumping the fountain, hitting the knuckle just before the landing ramp and losing control. It was a stunt his famous predecessor never got to attempt but nearly certainly would have applauded.
    Thousands of anti-violence protesters shut down part of Chicago interstate

    Thousands of anti-violence protesters shut down part of Chicago interstate

    Rauner says that the situation escalated from the original agreement and the protesters "chose instead to cause chaos". Police had warned earlier this week that any pedestrian who entered the expressway would face arrest and prosecution.
  • Woman on oxygen tank dies after her power is cut off

    Woman on oxygen tank dies after her power is cut off

    The company added that the family had "not notified us of any medical circumstances in the home". "We made numerous calls. Desiree said the PSE&G utility truck did not arrive until Friday morning - about 16 hours after her mother died.
    Watch Drake Make Surprise Headline Performance At Wireless Festival!

    Watch Drake Make Surprise Headline Performance At Wireless Festival!

    Fans were asking all sort of questions after seeing a video of Khaled on social media just hours before in an infinity pool on holiday in Mexico.

    Vote for your Wimbledon men's victor as Roger Federer defends title

    Williams will follow Federer at Centre Court, and she plays 120th-ranked qualifier Evgeniya Rodina of Russian Federation . In the men's draw, third seed Marin Cilic, fourth seed Alexander Zverev and sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov have all fallen.

Mosquitoes Carrying The West Nile Virus Could Be Deadly (WATCH OUT) Mosquitoes Carrying The West Nile Virus Could Be Deadly (WATCH OUT) District officials warned residents to watch out during the early morning and evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active. Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes.

CDC recalls Del Monte vegetable trays CDC recalls Del Monte vegetable trays Cyclospora cayetanensis , the CDC noted, is a "single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis". Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue.

Want to watch Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Usher & Oprah in Joburg? Here's how Want to watch Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Usher & Oprah in Joburg? Here's how Also on tap are Eddie Vedder, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest, D'banj, Sho Madjozi, and Tiwa Savage. To get tickets to this first of it's kind concert, all you have to do is a good deed in the spirit of the late Mandela.

Chelsea and Fulham games moved for TV Chelsea and Fulham games moved for TV The Tottenham game will be played on Saturday, August 11 with an earlier 12.30pm kick-off so it can be shown by Sky Sports. The clash will also be former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini's first game in charge of the Hammers.

Sacha Baron Cohen Gets Dick Cheney to Sign a ‘Waterboarding Kit’ One of the videos Showtime posted blatantly says, "We'd like to tell you about a new comedy that's coming, but we can't". That's because the latter is slated to premiere next Sunday, July 15th. 'That's a first.

Priyanka confirms Shonali Bose’s film, reveals title, mystery continues over hero Priyanka confirms Shonali Bose’s film, reveals title, mystery continues over hero In a picture PeeCee shared on her Insta story, we see the name of the film on its 29th draft written as The Sky Is Pink . Bollywood actor and Global icon Priyanka Chopra is back in India to kickstart a Hindi film after a hiatus of 2 years.

Brie Larson wraps on Captain Marvel, posts signed clapperboard Brie Larson wraps on Captain Marvel, posts signed clapperboard The yet-to-be-titled sequel to Avengers: Infinity War , directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, will hit theaters May 3, 2019. Kevin Feige insists that a trailer is still months away, so don't expect any surprises at Comic-Con.

Del Monte 'small veggie trays' result in 212 confirmed parasite cases Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Those who were sickened bought the vegetables in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

West Ham sign Diop for club record £22m West Ham sign Diop for club record £22m Issa Diop was one of the standout players for Toulouse and the French defender's was a wanted man for the top clubs across Europe. The France U21 defender joins the Hammers on a five-year deal worth £21.9m.

Phil Mickelson breaks rules at Greenbrier Phil Mickelson breaks rules at Greenbrier The incident occurred on the par-four seventh hole, which Mickelson double-bogeyed after factoring in his penalty. The American fired a final-round 4-over 74 to finish 1 under for the tournament on 279.

Jack Wilshere joins West Ham: Former Arsenal star speaks out about transfer Jack Wilshere joins West Ham: Former Arsenal star speaks out about transfer The same report says that West Ham United are also keen on a deal to land the Brazilian attacker this summer as the Hammers look to strengthen their own squad.

Wales name head coach Gatland's successor Wales name head coach Gatland's successor Gatland is set to walk away from his role as Wales boss following the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will be replaced by a fellow Kiwi. He will become an employee of the WRU next summer allowing an easy transition between head coaches.

Pompeo pushes back after North Korea calls US negotiators 'gangster-like' Pompeo pushes back after North Korea calls US  negotiators 'gangster-like' And he said some progress had been made towards agreeing "the modalities" of North Korea's destruction of a missile facility. Some U.S. experts said the disputes highlight the risk of Trump granting premature concessions to North Korea.

Delhi gangrape case: SC to deliver verdict on convicts pleas tomorrow Delhi gangrape case: SC to deliver verdict on convicts pleas tomorrow The court said that the order was a considered one and there was no ground to re-consider the verdict. She succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital, triggering huge protests across the country.

Big crash for Hartley, Hamilton leads… Big crash for Hartley, Hamilton leads… The primary talking point of the session came just 14 minutes in when Hartley went off heavily into the barriers at Brooklands. When the session restarted with 30 minutes on the clock, only five drivers had set a lap time.