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Password Theft Prevention Technology For ATM Equipment

Nanjing Yuantuo Tech : 03 September, 2010  (Technical Article)
Yuantuo Tech engineers have perfected a method for detecting password theft attempts on ATM equipment using laser ranging technology to measure key parameters on the machine to detect installation of password theft equipment without the use of video analytics
Although ATMs have brought a lot of convenience to financial service companies and have avoided some burdens of banks as well as helping banks gain higher profits, it has also become the place where crimes happen frequently. The Head of the Technical Protection Department of the China Merchant Bank Shanghai Branch said that self service devices are relatively centralized at present and they can't be ignored. Therefore, safety and precautions for ATMs mainly use the tactic which is "based on physical protection led by technical protection and supplemented with human protection".

The ATM usually includes two types: self service banking and spacing ATMs. Spacing ATMs are usually installed in large commercial districts, residences and hospitals. Therefore, except for some security staff around the ATM, it also has physical security measures. For example, they use thickened steel plate to make the ATM's body. Add an arch cover on the keyboard to prevent criminals pasting false keyboards and add a green card feed on the card slot to prevent any installation of false card readers. Shanghai Public Security Bureau also requires that self service devices install physical protection devices to provide users with an independent operation space and achieve an auto voice prompt system.

However, Zhang Jinguang, director of the Research and Development Department of Yuantuo Tech thinks that although physical protection can be effective to some extent, with the increase in technical crimes, it can't play its role effectively sometimes. Instead, technical protection can do this work well. Just as Zhang Jun of China Merchants Bank said, considering its application features of "self service", China Merchants Bank requires safety and precaution can "self" achieve most prevention functions.

How can rampant ATM password theft crime be prevented? Comparisons of advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of technical measures:

Currently, there are mainly two solutions on anti password theft:

1. Anti password theft solution based on video recognition

This solution relies on many factors. For example, whether image definition reaches the basic demands of video analysis; whether the images are influenced by human (including taking an umbrella or wearing a helmet, scarf or mask or small pieces of reflective sheeting) or destroyed; whether illegal posts with polarizing ability are used; whether the image analysis recognition algorithm is accurate or not. Only when several requirements are satisfied at the same time can it achieve intelligent analysis. Therefore, intelligent image recognition systems require ideal conditions, but in actual ATM withdrawing environments, these conditions can hardly exist. In this respect, the feasibility of intelligent surveillance systems based on video is very poor and well as the actual results.

2. Anti-password theft solution based on laser ranging principle

Bank card password theft crimes have a common feature, which is to install an extra device (password theft equipment, false keyboard, etc) on the ATM. Any extra installation means that the spatial heights of some important positions (card slot, keyboard, etc) have been changed. Using high-precision ranging sensors to detect the spatial heights of these sensitive positions in real time, you can judge whether password theft equipment has been installed on the card slot. Therefore, it can emit an alarm and pre-warning during installation and gain time for stopping and arresting the criminals.

This system uses a phased laser ranging module to achieve high-precision laser multi-point ranging which can form a laser protection net. Since the device is installed in front of the self service equipment within a certain distance, it is easy to achieve good concealment. Moreover, it does not need to break the self service equipment and its installation place is not fixed which means that it can be installed away from the ATM within distance between 0.05M—30M. Besides, the laser light path of the equipment has a wide detection range and it isn't easy to be affected by the environment and electromagnetic interference and thus false alarms and omission problems of traditional equipment can be solved effectively.

In addition, Yuantuo Tech thinks that the application of wireless communication positioning technology will also have some effects on the ATM. With the implementation of real-name registration system of mobile phones and if this detection technology is used in the ATM, it can detect the information such as card holder's phone number, name and serial number. Once a crime has happened, it can position the criminal's current position by means of wireless communication technology and thus the criminals can be arrested in a short time.
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