Unfortunately, ATMs have been frequent victims to explosive gas attacks, all over Europe. Criminals attempt to gain access to the cash inside ATMs, by using a ram raid, gas attack or solid explosives attack. These attacks aren’t always successful, but in most cases, they cause extensive damage to the ATM and the surrounding premises. Many ATMs have therefore been equipped with security cameras and other sensors that aim to detect an attack as soon as possible, allowing for the cash to be degraded. Usually, the cash is degraded by ink systems. Up until now…
Irreversible cash degradation
The effectiveness of ink degradation is up for debate. Mactwin’s opinion is that degrading cash is only useful if it’s irreversible and is subsequently never accepted as legal currency (not in shops, other countries, nor by machines). In order to irreversibly degrade cash, the physical properties (e.g. size and weight) of the banknotes need to be changed. GlueFusion is up to this task.
Banknotes glued into a ‘brick’
Upon GlueFusion activation, separate banknotes inside an ATM cash cassette are rapidly and insolubly glued together. Considering the banknotes are stacked closely together inside a cassette, the activation will lead to a so-called brick of banknotes. Separating individual banknotes will be impossible. The banknotes will tear into shreds, irreversible altering the physical properties of the banknotes. There’s not a cashier or automated payment center in the world that will accept these shreds or brick of worthless paper. Provided the ATM is equipped with proper (fast) detection systems and the GlueFusion cash degradation module, an attack will be completely futile. Removing the potential (and expectation) of a reward is always the best security measure.
A powerful central controller is at the heart of this solution. Upon detection of a crime, the controller immediately activates the glue degradation module and optionally sirens and strobe lights to frustrate the criminal. Moreover, a notification is sent to the control room operator, accompanied by all relevant information and camera footage. If necessary, the emergency services (police, fire dept. etc) can be dispatched right away. Live View enables them to view camera footage in real time in order to react appropriately. Solutions like GlueFusion and GPU (Gas protection Unit; Mactwin’s solution against explosive gas attacks) are the next step in the quest to break the arms race between criminals and ATM owners.
Experienced cash degraders
Mactwin has extensive experience in cash degradation; over 30 years’ worth! As one of the first in the world, Mactwin developed a CIT cash box (MactwinBox) with integrated cash degradation module. Obviously, the Mactwinbox’s technology has since then evolved to continuously adapt to the latest criminal MO’s and CIT operational procedures. Over the years, there has been close cooperation with all parties involved, including multiple national banks, regarding the level of degradation. It need to be enough to render the cash worthless, but not too much which would make identifying the value of the cash impossible, after an attack. MactwinBox has long proven its value. Countries that have MactwinBoxes, have seen a dramatic decrease of attacks on CIT custodians. Which makes sense, because robbing a CIT custodian with a MactwinBox is completely futile.