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Protect Your ATMs Against Theft and Vandalism


Protect Your ATMs Against Theft and Vandalism


FTSI routinely receives reports of attempted ATM thefts from across the country. The incident shown in the security footage below was prevented due to security measures in place, only resulting in ATM surface damage. Banks and credit unions should always be aware of the various types and trends of ATM thefts to ensure prevention against attacks.


Common ATM Attack Methods


  • Hook and Chain Attacks: Criminals attach an anchor to the ATM door with the other end hooked to a heavy-duty truck in an attempt to yank the door off.
  • Key Copies: Thieves are securing copies of the ATM top hatch keys.
  • Robbery: Technicians being robbed while conducting maintenance operations to the ATMs.
  • Card Trapping: Installation of devices to trap debit or credit cards within the card reader, allowing criminals to retrieve sensitive information.
  • PIN Skimming: The use of hidden cameras or overlays on the keypad to capture PINs entered by unsuspecting users.
  • Ram Raid Attacks: Criminals use vehicles to ram into ATMs, attempting to dislodge the machine or gain direct access to the cash.
  • Malware and Network Exploitation: Cybercriminals target the ATM's software or network, exploiting vulnerabilities to compromise security and access funds.
  • Explosive Attacks: Criminals deploy explosives to open the ATM, intending to access the cash compartment.
  • Black Box Attacks: Connection of unauthorized devices (black boxes) to the ATM's computer system to manipulate cash dispensing.
  • Social Engineering: Tricking ATM users or personnel into divulging sensitive information, often through deception or manipulation.
  • Deep-Insert Skimming attacks: Criminals use various methods of card skimming to steal consumer information and commit fraud.



The security measures taken to prevent theft above were successful against cash being stolen, with the use of live video monitoring and a warning alarm to notify the criminals police were called to the scene.


Security personnel monitoring the live feed were able to trigger the alarm and notify police and branch management as soon as the criminals began tampering with the ATM, which eventually caused the thieves to abandon their efforts and drive away. Police arrived on scene within 5 to 15 minutes once they had been notified of the incident. During this incident, money was not stolen from the ATM safe, however the ATM was damaged and had to be replaced.


FTSI recommends reevaluating security measures that are in place at your ATMs to prevent any type of potential theft.

ATM Attack Mitigation Recommendations


  • Installing a barrier gate in front of ATM that can prevent thieves from trying to yank the ATM out of its place.
  • Video surveillance with remote, live viewing and 24/7 alarm monitoring.
  • Change the top hatch keys to a secured, personalized set of keys to eliminate chances of keys being copied by criminals.
  • Make sure your ATMs are equipped with an audible alarm that is triggered when the top hatch is open and alarms police and bank management
  • Check to make sure your ATMs are equipped with vibration systems that will trip the audible alarm when any disturbance of the ATM is detected. During installation of a vibration sensor FTSI can install at the bottom of the ATM near the safe door, which is the most common place for thieves to attack first.
  • Enhanced lighting around the building and ATMs with warning signs posted of live security monitoring 24/7.
  • Typical ATM anchoring bolts may fail due to the attack energy forcing the base concrete to shatter. Consider a different type of anchoring technology that is designed to absorb and redirect any attacking force to prevent ATM removal by brute force impact.

In the face of rising threats such as ATM skimming attacks, ensuring robust ATM security is paramount to safeguarding your assets. FTSI remains committed to fortifying your defense against evolving risks, evidenced by the recent prevention of an attempted theft through our advanced security measures.



To enhance your ATM protection, consider implementing measures like barrier gates, personalized top hatch keys, audible alarms, vibration sensors, enhanced lighting, and cutting-edge anchoring technologies. These proactive steps not only deter potential attacks but also ensure rapid response, demonstrating our dedication to proactive ATM security solutions. For expert advice on bolstering your ATM security against emerging challenges, contact us at Together, let's fortify your ATMs and protect your assets from evolving threats.

Contact us at to learn more about adding or updating security to protect your ATM fleet.