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MND plays down concerns over possible app leaks

2018/01/29 20:52:46

Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) In response to a recent U.S. daily report that a fitness tracker app widely used by military personnel could potentially expose the location of Taiwan's missile command center, Taiwan's military Monday brushed off such concerns but also promised to enhance personnel security.

Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉), spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND), ruled out the possibility of such a hack, saying all military staff smartphones are equipped with mobile device management (MDM) solutions that can lock the functions of the devices once they enter a base, preventing them from taking photos, sharing hot spots, locations and blue tooth transmissions.

"In such instances, no sensitive information can be leaked," Chen told a news conference when asked about the report.

The report in the The Daily Beast claimed over the weekend that a "heat map" published by a company called Strava shows the location of all rides, runs, swims, and downhills taken by its users and collected by their smartphones and wearables, including those in the military.

Claiming that "it seems, for example, that there are some very avid users of this application in Taiwan," the report observed that "a number of avid Strava users who work there, casually jog right by the parking lot where the missile launchers are kept."

Asked whether the app could reveal the headquarters of Taiwan's missile command center, Chen said that many of the individuals identified are not in the military and therefore not party to any information leak. However, he did reiterate that the MND will further step up national security information management training of personnel.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang)