Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Africa Part 2, Exploding ATMs

While the rest of the world debates the length of a pin number, we in South Africa have a different challenge. At least, the banks do - explosives.

According to this article at The Times: "security companies and banks have warned the public about unexploded bombs in and around ATMs."

Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said “Because of the increase in ATM bombings, the risk to the public has risen dramatically. ATM bombers are now hitting machines in business premises in metropolitan areas."

Also according to the article: "[First National Bank of South Africa has a] new security and monitoring system [that] will be introduced at 500 sites in areas considered to be at high risk.

Guards on 24-hour patrols will also keep watch over the cash machines."

I can't imagine that an ATM has terribly large amounts of cash and criminals will start to apply this modus operandi to other types of crime. As a risk, this is on the increase and security professionals should analyse if and how this would affect them.

It may be worth positioning your server room more to the middle of your offices rather than against a main wall so that a little explosion won't leave a gaping hole that PCs can be moved through.

Update: I just took a look at the video on the site and I would highly recommend anyone using an ATM to see video evidence of what criminals can try when you are using an ATM.
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