Almost every night an ATM is blown up somewhere in Europe. A Gas Explosion attack is a method that involves a combustible gas, combined with oxygen, being injected in an ATM, whereupon the gas is ignited from a safe distance in order to break into the ATM’s vault. This entire scenario only takes a few minutes. Not every ATM gas attack is successful for the criminals. However, the damage to the ATM and surrounding buildings is enormous and gas attacks put people nearby at risk.
Research & Development
In order to develop a solution against gas attacks that truly minimises risks and suppresses an explosion, extensive research was conducted in order to acquire the necessary knowledge of the Modus Operandi. Every gas attack scenario conceivable was executed in a controlled environment; a ballistic arena in Germany.
GPU has proven to render any type of gas attack futile
What makes Gas Protection Unit (GPU) unique?
The GPU (Gas Protection Unit) is a patented, unique and reliable solution, specifically developed to combat the threat of today’s and tomorrow’s ATM Gas Attack scenarios. The system differs from all other available solutions by its extremely fast gas detection and the use of innovative techniques to render the combustible gas ineffective.
Indefinitely. Thus suppressing an explosion and making a gas attack completely futile. By integrating alarm notification, the ATM monitoring centre and police are alerted immediately after gas detection. Moreover, the chance of catching the criminals will increase considerably.
Operation and Integration
GPU’s Detection Module contains a highly accurate gas sensor that detects any injected combustible gas within a few seconds. Upon detection, the central intelligent Controller Module activates the unique Protection Module and other integrated alarm systems. The Protection Module itself renders the dangerous gas ineffective. Thanks to the unique combination of innovative techniques, GPU offers maximum protection against gas attacks. The active protection window is unlimited!
Integration with third party hardware
Of course, other (already installed) ATM security products to frustrate the criminals can easily be integrated with the GPU, like sirens, strobe lights, a fog generator or defacement modules in the cash cassettes. Besides, an alarm notification can be sent to the ATM monitoring centre immediately after a combustible gas is detected. The GPU’s central Controller Module has plenty of outputs and includes an integrated function for event history (logging), including Real Time Clock.
Easy installation, low service and maintenance costs
With a small footprint and minimal ATM adjustment, the GPU is quick and easy to install in every ATM. Because the complete GPU is installed inside the ATM vault, the system itself is well protected against tampering. The GPU functions fully autonomously, independent of the main power, thanks to the UPS (optional). The GPU only uses sustainable and high quality components, so that service and maintenance have been reduced to an absolute minimum, which in turn reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) considerably.
Testing & Certification
During the development of the GPU, Mactwin has conducted extensive testing, both on-site as in ballistic arenas. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. On top of that, we had the Belgian ANPI Institute officially certify the functioning of the GPU. Naturally, the GPU is EMC approved and all components have the CE conformity marking.
Beat ATM & CIT crime at the source
Cash money is very appealing to criminals; always has been, always will be as long as there is cash money in circulation. Over the years, there have been quite some changes in the types of attack. In many (European) countries, bank robberies occur less and les, because there is hardly any cash on site. The ATM has taken over this role and has subsequently become a target. The CIT business is also a target for extremely violent robberies. To break the arms race between criminals and the cash handling industry, we believe we need to address the problem at the source: remove the reward to remove the crime.
Attacks on ATMs
Explosive attacks on ATMs happen on a daily basis in many countries. Criminals use trucks and excavators to ram the ATM out of the wall and explosive gas (often a mixture of acetylene and oxygen) or solid explosives, like hand grenades and plastic explosives, to access the cash cassettes in the ATM. If necessary, the door to the vault area is rammed with a ‘battering ram’ attached to a car. Since a couple of years, off premise ATMs in supermarket have also become a target for criminals. The damage involved in these attacks is enormous. So it makes perfect sense that banks show an interest in solutions like the GPU (Gas Protection Unit) and GlueFusion (cash degradation with glue, inside cash cassettes).
Attacks on CIT
Cash handling has many aspects; from delivery of the cash, servicing ATMs and transporting cash, to counting and sorting in the cash centers. Every aspect has its own risk moments, positions and MO’s (Modi Operandi). During attacks on the Cash in Transit operation, criminals are using increasingly heavier and more dangerous weaponry. Automatic firearms and plastic explosives are used to shoot at and blow up armored trucks. The CIT custodian is also frequently a target of an attack. In the Netherlands, attacks on the custodians are very rare these days. Main reason for the decline of this MO is the use of the MactwinBox, with irreversible cash degradation.
The future of attacks on the Cash Handling industry
By using irreversible cash degradation on a large scale in ATMs and CIT operations, the number of physical attacks will decrease drastically and criminals will be forced to explore other targets. We don’t really expect them to get honest jobs (wishful thinking), but believe their focus will shift further towards cybercrime (e.g. jackpotting). In the next couple of years, organizations will need to invest substantially in improving their digital defensibility.