Re: TECH: atm

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 12:53:18 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:
> Hmmm, ATM technology. Totally off topic to surgery, but what if...
> a bunch of terrorists, say 100, were scattered all over the world and
> each one opened a bank account with 350 bucks or equivalent. They
> each get an ATM card, made 100 copies and distributed same to all
> their droogies. Now each drooge has 100 cards and one account.
> They could get in cahoots and all have watches accurate to the
> second (cost about 40 bucks each), all log on to droogie number 1
> at exactly 1300, each enter the code, draw out 300 bucks, hit
> the enter key at 1300:00 so that the time lag would allow 30k to
> be drawn out of an account that contains only 350. Then go down
> the list to droogie number 2's account, at 1302.00 etc, thus stealing
> a pile. The time lag in processing would let em get away. spike

I strongly suspect that the ATM database system requires that the central
account be uniquely write-locked and debited before the transaction (ha
ha!) can go through.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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