Sunday, July 12, 2009

Self Defending ATMs: South African ATM Security

The Guardian describes South African ATMs designed to help combat the high incidence of ATM theft and destruction - over 500 in a single year. The article describes a variety of methods used to break into ATMs including explosives.

Pepper spray seems like a poor deterrent for thieves willing to use explosives to break into an ATM - but it may at least deter more casual criminals. Of course, the article notes that technicians have been amongst those who have suffered from the pepper spray, which they inadvertently activated. This also creates a hazard to those in the surrounding area, as pepper spray can spread and effect customers or others downwind.

In a highly hostile environment, self defending ATMs seem like an obvious step - but pepper spray may not be the best solution for others in the area. For now, law enforcement can look for the ATM using customers wearing gas masks.

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