Hacker's Invention Could Prevent ATM Fraud

Dennis Faas's picture

A Romanian man convicted of ripping off ATM machines is hoping to make amends by offering an iron-clad way to protect those same machines. Valentin Boanta, who is currently six months into a five-year prison term, first started working on his project while awaiting trial back in 2009.

Boanta's system uses a Secure Revolving System (SRS) that can be installed in any ATM machine. Its appearance resembles a metallic box measuring about 6 inches long and features a card slot in the middle. (Source: torontosun.com)

Internal Rotation Prevents Skimming

SRS allows the bank card to be inserted for a longer period of time. It also rotates the card internally, preventing skimmers from locking onto the magnetic data strip.

When all legitimate transactions are completed, the system returns the bank card to its owner with a reverse rotation.

SRS was developed by Romanian-based MB Telecom, which has since provided financial support to Boanta's security efforts.

In fact, the company was so excited to learn of their product's effective use that the president of MB Telecom, Mircea Tudor, promised in a recent statement that "Valentin will join our team when he is set to be released from jail." (Source: canoe.ca)

For his part, Boanta says his arrest has become a "blessing in disguise," and has presented him with a way to "work for the good side."

Neither Boanta nor MB Telecom personnel have speculated as to the cost of the SRS security device, but say that it will be available soon. A video of the product (in Romanian) can be seen by clicking here.

Romanian Hackers Take Aim at U.S. Banks

Some analysts have said that SRS could help improve Romania's image in the tech world. The Eastern European nation is home to many hackers responsible for targeting global financial institutions.

In fact, it's estimated that Romanian hackers stole close to $1 billion from U.S. accounts in 2012, according to the U.S. embassy in Bucharest.

A recent Verizon report estimated that Romania was the world's second-largest hacking hub, following only China. (Source: torontosun.com)

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