Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bank Machine Mechanics

Here's an interesting pic from the phone. It's from a bank on Andrassy a few weeks ago. It looked like someone had ripped the front off their cash machine, revealing all sorts of slots and wires just waiting to be tampered with.

Unfortunately there was a security guard standing next to it so fiddling about with it for the sake of furthering cash science was out of the question.

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It did make me think about how hard the ATM manufacturers are meant to be trying to protect these machines from hacker (by both software and by axe). I remember reading about all sorts of measures they take but then the fraudsters get even more imaginative. The basic method being the simple but effective Lebanese Loop and the more sophisticated ATM skimmer complete with hidden camera.

The Lebanese Loop and skimmers target the individuals. For targetting the big wad of cash held in the actual machine, well, you have to take the whole machine. I recall a spate of ATM thefts in the UK a few years back. The robbers would "borrow" a JCB from a nearby building site and then smash through everything, using the digger to scoop up the whole machine then carry it off in a truck. They've probably installed motion / tracking devices into them now but it doesn't stop some people from a good old smash and grab.

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