Valentin Boanta a tech-savvy criminal sitting in his jail cell, explains the device which he invented saying he could give the banks for world the device which can make their ATM's impregnable even to tech-savvy criminals like himself.
Valentin Boanta is 33 years old is six months into a five-year sentence for supplying gadgets an organised crime gang used to conceal ATM skimmers, which can copy data from an unsuspecting ATM user’s card so a clone can be created. He said that he had started to make the devices for the sheer excitement of it and denies ever planning to use them himself, saying he only sold them to others.
Boanta was arrested in 2009 and trial brought contrition, as he realised the impact of his actions and felt an urge to make amends. It also brought the former industrial design student a flash of technical inspiration.
“When I got caught I became happy. This liberation opened the way to working for the good side,” Boanta said.
“Crime was like a drug for me. After I was caught, I was happy I escaped from this adrenaline addiction,” he said. “So that the other part, in which I started to develop security solutions, started to emerge.” It was during his trial that he got down to work.
The stage for Boanta’s product pitch these days is the book-lined cell in the northeastern Romanian town of Vaslui he shares with five pickpockets and burglars. “All ATMs have ageing designs, so they are prone to vulnerability, they are a very weak side of the banking industry,” he said.
“Every ATM can be penetrated through a skimming crime. My security solution, SRS, makes an ATM unbreachable.” Boanta says his “Secure Revolving System-SRS” can be installed in any ATM. It allows the bank card to be inserted longer side first and then rotates it to prevent skimmers being able to lock on to the magnetic data strip. The system returns the card to its user with a reverse rotation.
Outwardly it is a trapezoidal metallic box around 6 inches (15 cm) long with the card slot in the middle.
The SRS, funded and developed by a technology firm near Bucharest called MB Telecom, is patented and won an award this year at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva.