Sunday, January 15, 2012

Damn Bloody Stupid

The two Bugis street DBS ATMs compromised in the recent card skimming scandal were equipped with "jitter" technology - which uses a stop start or jitter motion inside the card drive specifically designed to distort magnetic stripe details and prevent copying by a foreign card reader inserted into the ATM - but it was not turned on. This has to be damn bloody silly.

Wait, it gets worse. DBS has 4.3 million customers, the highest customer volume at its ATMs among all the banks here. While it employs a wide range of ATM security measures, the bank admits not all the measures are deployed at all its 1,100 ATMs all of the time. Why? The lame excuse offered is damn bloody stupid.

It looks like the DBS concept of security is to leave their doors unlocked, use chihuahuas as guard dogs, employ security guards who don't have to show up at their posts, and install expensive intruder detection systems that need not be monitored.

When DBS acquired POSB in November 1998, many account holders closed out their books and migrated to other banks. Banks like OCBC and UOB who have all security measures activated at all their ATMs. Maybe an additional level of security is to for remaining customers to junk all those DBS-POSB credit and debit cards altogether. After DBS did say said that it was highly unlikely crime could have been prevented even if additional security features have been turned on, hardly a vote of confidence in their own anti-fraud protection systems.

Needless to say, all these revelations make mockery of India import Piyush Gupta's hollow boast about improvements at DBS under his watch. Unless he progress he referred to was about his personal financial well being.


  1. Yes, yes !
    Now we can understand, why the government of ours seem to be tardy when dealing with the housing/ transport / flooding issues, just to name a few. Same group-think.

  2. This is a fact of how state-owned enterprises work in reality. Why private sector always does better than state-owned public sector? The key is diversity. When public sector wanted to privatize and to run like a profit oriented enterprise, it did not really go full private by limiting its human resources including top managers to be sourced form public sector only. Very very few private sector workers were allowed to join the public sector as a result. Once the limit was set, the mindset was also set. It will then operate forever like a state-owned enterprise. No diversity no innovative reform. This is a rule that most MNCs and governments of other advanced countries understand and follow.

  3. I couldn't resist commenting on this! Why install the f***** reader then if you don’t turn it on?!?!!? These people should be shot! As for the analogy, that is total crap. It’s called defence-in-depth, and is common practice in any prudent financial institution. I should know. Unlike the moron spokesperson from DBS I AM an expert in this field.

    Just pathetic!

  4. But one puzzling thing I don't really comprehend is in the midst of the DBS ATM scam, why did Peter Seah went full ahead in praise of Gupta ?

    Praise him for lack of security in the ATM scam or praise him for what ?

  5. How did the culprits knew that these particular machines security were not turned on? The culprits cannot make any mistake, right? Hmmmm.

  6. I think DBS should just apologize and then shut up. What they have done so far smacks of denial, passing the buck, tainting the other banks, and trying to make light of the situation.

    1) The CEO only apologize more than a week later, and only at a gathering of private banking clients.

    2) The CEO said skimming happened to all banks. How come OCBC and UOB are not affected this time round?

    3) The CEO said not all the security measures are activated. Then what the hell are they for? OCBC categorically said that all these security measures are activated.

  7. Of all the local banks in Singapore, why has this has to happen to DBS Bank, the biggest local bank? Why is it that these days you keep hearing about the stupid mistakes being made by those Government-linked companies?

    For People Who Are Sill Superstitious Of PAP's Magical Capability, Wake Up!

  8. Carry on importing trash from third world countries to run our so called premier state-owned institutions, and the next minister mentor will have plenty to write about in his book to be titled: "From first world to third, in less than a blink of an eye."

  9. "why did Peter Seah went full ahead in praise of Gupta?"
    Probably because the North Indian has a powerful patron, like Saw Phaik Hwa.
    It took a major disaster to bring the SMRT CEO down, so perhaps an epic fail at DBS is needed to achieve same.