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News

Beyond Surveillance for ATM Protection

Nanjing Yuantuo Tech : 08 July, 2010  (Technical Article)
Staying ahead of ATM criminals with the use of additional technology which complements existing surveillance installations at Automatic Teller Machines
Beyond Surveillance for ATM Protection
In recent years, ATM crime has been on the increase, especially ATM bank card crimes. From these cases, we can see that the existing video surveillance system is inadequate in isolation and the whole industry is over dependent on video surveillance systems. The video equipment suppliers and engineering installation providers all exaggerate the functions of video surveillance. Therefore, all banks and security departments put emphasis on the video surveillance equipment and ignore other prevention and control measures which finally lead to the existing passive situation.

From a technical perspective, video surveillance plays an indispensable role in financial security and is very important for collecting evidence afterwards and detecting the crimes. However, to take a look at its effectiveness, it can only have the function of collecting evidence and testifying without prevention and early warning functions.


Currently, to prevent ATM crime, the investments in manned security in some places is even more than security equipment investment. What's worse, it is not effective and the social cost is very high which make the permutation losses of banks even more than the investments. In addition, the practicality of current ATM intelligent video surveillance is very low which is mainly because the video intelligent analysis relies on many factors, for instance, whether the image definition can meet the basic requirements of video analysis; whether the image is influenced (such as holding up an umbrella; wearing a helmet, scarf or masks; or small pieces of reflective sheeting) or broken; whether illegal stickers with polarizing ability are used; or whether the image analysis recognition algorithm is accurate or not, etc. Only if the requirements are satisfied can it do the intelligent analysis. Therefore, the intelligent image recognition system needs very strict conditions. However, in the real ATM environment, such conditions rarely exist and thus the feasibility of video-based intelligent surveillance systems is very poor and the actual results are not so good.


To overcome this, an omnibearing prevention and control system should be set up with sensor warning as the basis and video surveillance recording as the backup to make up the defects of pure video surveillance. It is a realistic way to solve the current predicament.

From existing ATM crimes, it is clear that to steal the bank card number and passwords and then clone a bank card is the most difficult to identify and prevent. This will also cause the maximum amount of harm and negative influence. This modus operandi is concealed and has a long latent period with a large amount of money involved. To be successful, the crime must have two elements of success: 1 the bank card number; 2 the password. If one of them can't be achieved, the crimes will fail. Usually, the passwords can be stolen by installing a camera. However, as the installation position and method is different (some suspects even install a fake anti-peep keyboard covering which has a camera installed in it), it is very hard to prevent.

The only way to steal the card number is to install a card number theft device on the card slot of the ATM. The card number capture system is a physical device and once installed, the thickness of the card slot changes. By using specialized equipment to measure the thickness, people can judge whether the card slot is abnormal. Meanwhile, lasers have high measurement accuracy, which means that even the criminals make the card number theft thinner and smaller, so a laser ranging sensor can also be used.

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