Polar Flow Fitness App Exposes Soldiers, Spies
A popular fitness app provided a convenient map for anyone interested in shadowing government personnel who exercised in secret locations, including intelligence agencies, military bases and airfields, nuclear weapons storage sites, and embassies around the world.
The fitness app, Polar Flow, publicized more data about its users in a more accessible way than comparable apps "with potentially disastrous results," found Bellingcat and De Correspondent investigators, who released the results of their research on Sunday.
"Polar is not only revealing the heart rates, routes, dates, time, duration and pace of exercises carried out by individuals at military sites, but also revealing the same information from what are likely their homes as well," states the report.
Goldmine of Intelligence
Through the Polar flow app and public information, such as social media profiles, Bellingcat and De Correspondent identified a number of people working in sensitive positions, including the following:
Military personnel exercising at bases known, or strongly suspected, to host nuclear weapons;
Persons working at the FBI and NSA;
Military personnel specializing in cybersecurity, IT, missile defense, intelligence and other sensitive domains;
Persons serving on submarines, exercising at submarine bases;
Individuals both from management and security working at nuclear power plants;
Russian soldiers in Crimea; and
Military personnel at Guantanamo Bay.
In response to the Bellingcat and De Correspondent findings, Polar Flow temporarily suspended an API at a website that exposed a rich vein of user information.
Polar emphasized that it had not leaked any data and that there had been no breach of private data.