Untappd Beer Rating App May Pose A Military Security Threat

, Untappd Beer Rating App May Pose A Military Security Threat

(Courtesy Strava)

Who knew that the world’s most popular beer rating app could be used to track the location of high security military operatives? Well it can according to one open-source intelligence site…

Here’s the deal…

Untappd is a mobile app popular with millions of beer fans all over the world, that allows them to post photos of what they’re drinking, and using the phone’s geolocation, exactly where they’re drinking it.

But apparently, it could also be used to track and trace military personnel, making it easy to find secretive military installations, as well as discover where the users live, and even who they live with.


, Untappd Beer Rating App May Pose A Military Security ThreatWhen registering with Untappd, you need to provide some personal details. But with a little ingenuity and technical expertise, those details can open the door to a wealth of data, which military operatives might rather weren’t out there…

Bellingcat reporter Foeke Postma,who broke this story, was able to track down a US drone pilot, a list of bases he’d visited over the past months, a US naval officer and a number of senior officials…..

“Untappd users log hundreds, often thousands of time-stamped location data points,” Postma wrote on May 18….

“When users drink beer, they can ‘check in’ to Untappd by taking a picture of their beverage and logging their location as well as the date and time. Searching for a location brings up only bars, restaurants and shops. Once you begin the process of ‘checking in’ a beer, Untappd allows more locations to be selected”

“These locations are neatly sorted in over 900 categories, which can be as diverse and specific as ‘botanic garden.’ ‘strip club,’ ‘gay bar,’ ‘west-Ukrainian restaurant,’ and ‘airport gate.’ As the result of this, the app allows anyone to trace the movements of other users between sensitive locations.”

Postma, who has a background in conflict analysis, told the Drinks Business he was inspired to delve into the murky waters of beer reviews after a similar investigation into the Strava fitness app was found to reveal the location of sensitive sites like US military bases in countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, as well as the exercise routines.

Using data from the Untappd app, Postma was even able to find the precise location of a military site which hosts a covert CIA training facility know in the spycraft world as ‘The Farm.”

So the next time your ‘checking in’ something new from Russian River Brewing, know that the Russians might be checking out what you’re ‘checking in.’

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