24-hour guard for all ATMs impossible: Malaysia banks association

24-hour guard for all ATMs impossible: Malaysia banks association

KUALA LUMPUR - It is impossible to furnish each self-service banking terminal location with 24-hour security, said the Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM).

Its executive director Chuah Mei Lin said with 9,326 ATMs under its 13 member banks, the banks had to look at other practical means to secure their machines.

"Banks have had to consider all aspects, including the risk profiles of a particular location, and to rely on other security measures encompassing CCTVs and alarms.

"At this juncture, it would be practically impossible to have banks provide 24-hour security for their self-service terminals at all locations," she said.

She added that the reason for the existence of so many terminals was to provide greater convenience to the banks' customers.

However, Chuah said ABM member banks had stepped up vigilance at their branches and were working closely with the police on the matter.

She was responding to calls from the police for banks to beef up security following reports that 14 ATMs had been hacked by a Latin American gang in Selangor, Malacca and Johor.

It was reported that banks would install alarms on the top panel of their machines and seal the CD-ROM slots as an immediate measure to prevent future compromises.

This came after a meeting with the police, during which the banks were also advised to install more CCTV cameras and improve the mechanism of their ATM kiosks after some were found to have weaknesses and not foolproof.

Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Azmi Abu Kassim, whose district was the worst hit by the ATM hacking blitz, had also said that during a meeting with managers before Hari Raya, he had urged them to employ round-the-clock security guards at their premises.

He added that his suggestion had however gone unheeded.

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