MalaysiaSAFE: What are the latest trends of ATM attacks in this region?
JM: There are different types of threats globally, but the subset of what happens around the world usually paints the picture of regional threats; there is not really a place with a threat that is unique to them.
From my experience, skimming is probably the number one threat in terms of global activity, and that is certainly having presence in Malaysia. Interestingly, what I see less of in Malaysia but are trending globally, is where the criminals are exploding ATMs. They would blow off the ATM safe doors with either gas or explosive materials. That form of attack originally started in Brazil and in South Africa because there was easy access to mining explosive materials.
What we have seen in the last few years is that these types of attacks have spread and are now very prevalent in Europe. There have also been robberies involving explosives in Australia, but I rarely see it happening in Malaysia, so that is good.
"The one thing our security team at NCR is doing is look into the future. We ask ourselves how do we take the opportunities away from criminals altogether, rather than finding ways to defend against threats."
MalaysiaSAFE: How do you provide support to your customers?
JM: We would support businesses in different ways depending on the attack vectors that we need to defend against. Let us take, for example, a typical physical attack like forcefully tearing the ATM off its mounting. What we can do is ensure that the ATM is anchored properly to the ground. That can be done traditionally with really big bolts, but there is also a method using concrete and steel plinth to reinforce the anchoring load.
If we are talking about a software type attack, then there are different software protections which include the deployment of whitelisting solutions, hard disk encryption as well as other measures to protect the BIOS and dispensers. These are needed so that if anybody tries to perform an offline malware attack or tries to put a fraudulent drive in, it would not work. If it is someone tapping into the communications channel to send criminal messages, we can encrypt the communication line that goes between the ATMs and the network.
So, we would discuss with the customers of the criminal environment, and make recommendations on best practices. Every customer is different. We have customers that really understand the security and have all the protection, and therefore do not need help in this area as much. But we also have customers that are smaller and do not have a big security team. That is when we would talk about all the threats and the products which could help. At the end of the day, as long as the customers have the protection needed, it does not matter if customers decide on NCR’s products or from other vendors.