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Número de publicaciónWO2012006721 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudPCT/CA2011/000805
Fecha de publicación19 Ene 2012
Fecha de presentación15 Jul 2011
Fecha de prioridad16 Jul 2010
Número de publicaciónPCT/2011/805, PCT/CA/11/000805, PCT/CA/11/00805, PCT/CA/2011/000805, PCT/CA/2011/00805, PCT/CA11/000805, PCT/CA11/00805, PCT/CA11000805, PCT/CA1100805, PCT/CA2011/000805, PCT/CA2011/00805, PCT/CA2011000805, PCT/CA201100805, WO 2012/006721 A1, WO 2012006721 A1, WO 2012006721A1, WO-A1-2012006721, WO2012/006721A1, WO2012006721 A1, WO2012006721A1
InventoresJoel Ferguson
SolicitanteJoel Ferguson
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos:  Patentscope, Espacenet
Point-of-sale terminal security system
WO 2012006721 A1
Resumen
A security module for monitoring the status of an article subject to tampering such as a point-of- sale terminal or pin pad, said module comprising: a casing; an electrical circuitry board disposed within said casing; at least one sensor selected from pressure sensors, current sensors, contact sensors, or the like which sense the presence of the article and alarm if the article is tampered with or removed, the electrical circuitry board comprising a set of relays which is in communication with; (i) a central security unit, (ii) at least one sensor in a closed monitoring loop of the module, wherein an alarm will be generated if any of the communications is disrupted or are tampered with.
Reclamaciones  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)
We claim:
1. A security module for monitoring the status of an article subject to tampering such as a point-of-sale terminal or pin pad, said module comprising:
a casing;
an electrical circuitry board disposed within said casing;
at least one sensor disposed with said casing selected from pressure sensors, current sensors, contact sensors, or the like which sense the presence of the article and alarm if the article is tampered with or removed,
the electrical circuitry board comprising a set of relays which is in communication with;
(i) a central security unit,
(ii) at least one sensor in a closed monitoring loop of the module,
wherein an alarm will be generated if any of the communications is disrupted or are tampered with.
2. A security module for connecting to a security hub and monitoring a secure condition of an article subject to tampering, the module comprising external fastener pressure sensors and an internal module fastener pressure sensor, said module including a set of monitoring relays which monitor the secure condition of the article being monitored, the external pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the article to its support, and the module fastener pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the module to its support, wherein an alarm signal is generated in any of the following conditions: i) the fastener attaching the article through the sensor to its support is removed; ii) the fastener attaching the article to its support through the sensor is tampered with;
iii) a line of the external fastener pressure sensor is cut;
iv) a line of the external fastener pressure sensor is short circuited;
v) communication between the module and the hub is disrupted;
vi) power supply to the module is disrupted;
vii) the fastener attaching the module to its support is removed;
viii) the fastener attaching the module to its location is loosened;
wherein in any of the above conditions an alarm signal would be generated and enunciated locally if appropriate and the alarm signal would be communicated to the central alarm panel or monitoring service.
3. The security module of claim 1 or 2 further comprising a sound circuit comprising a battery, and an enunciator and an off/on switch, the sound circuit being controlled by a separate relay,
wherein in the alarm conditions a separate relay sends an initiating signal to the sound circuit and the enunciator generates an alerting sound.
4. The security module of any one of claims 1 to 3 further comprising at least two external pressure sensors, in addition to a module pressure sensor linked to a set of visual indicators indicating the status of the sensors.
5. The security module of claims 1 to 5 further comprising a set of relays in normally open position one per sensor and one relay in normally closed position for sound circuit.
6. The security module of any of claims 1 to 5 incorporated directly into the pin pad or point of sale terminal.
7. The security module of claim 6 wherein the pressure sensor further comprising a casing enclosing two resilient electrodes separated by an insulator, wherein the electrodes are contacted as a result of tightening the fastener passing through said pressure sensor and separated when said fastener is loosened.
8. The security module of claim 7 wherein the casing is further comprising a step, engaging one of the electrodes and also preventing an over tightening of the sensor by the fastener.
9. The security module of claim 8 wherein the sensor is further having a ring part with an aperture for a fastener, while the insulator has a half ring part to separate the front part of the electrode rings and to allow the motion of the rear part of the electrode rings.
10. The security module of any one of claims 1-9 further comprising a LED indicator for each sensor, wherein the indicator switches from an alarm indication to a secured indication immediately with closing the sensor circuit with the fastener.
1 1. A method of securing an article comprising fastening an article to its support, while the fastener is passing through the sensor of claims 1 to 10 by tightening and activating the circuit of the security system.
12. A method of securing an article of claim 1 1 wherein the alarm would sound and alarm signal would be sent to the central monitoring system in the event of tampering with the article or removal of the article from its location.
13. A pressure sensor comprising a casing having a top part and a bottom part enclosing two resilient electrodes a top electrode and a bottom electrode, separated by an insulator, wherein the electrodes are contacted as a result of tightening the fastener passing through said pressure sensor and separated when said fastener is loosened.
14. The sensor of claim 13 wherein the bottom part casing is further comprising a step, engaging one of the electrodes and also preventing an over tightening of the sensor by the fastener.
15. The sensor of claim 14 wherein the electrodes comprising a ring part with an aperture for a fastener, while the insulator has a half ring part to separate the front part of the electrode rings and to allow flexing of the rear part of the electrode rings.
16. The sensor of claim 15 wherein the bottom part of the casing is further comprising a first step to engage rear part of the bottom electrode ring and a second step to support the front part of the bottom electrode ring, wherein during fastening of the sensor, a central part of the bottom electrode is pressed downwardly between said steps and as a result the peripheral part of the bottom electrode is flexed upwardly closing the contact with the upper electrode at the rear part of the sensor.
Descripción  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)

TITLE OF THE INVENTION

Point-Of-Sale Terminal Security System

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to security systems for protecting high risk equipment from tampering and removal. More specifically a monitoring system is provided which will alarm if the equipment is disconnected physically or electrically from its installed position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The point-of-sale terminals including: credit card readers, Interact card readers and other units, which require an interaction between the payment cards and the pin codes entered by the user has been the center of attention for quite a while in relation to security breaches. Many identity theft cases started from compromising those point-of-sale terminals. The growing concern of those point-of-sale terminals was not the theft of the units, but the units swapping while regular units were replaced with altered units capable of recording personal information such as credit card numbers and interact pins.

Therefore, with the increase of thefts in the POS terminals there is now a worldwide requirement for improved security systems. Currently organize crime elements and individuals can swap out terminals and replace them with units that have been modified to capture PIN and card information. After a few days, they will exchange the terminals again while many retailers being completely unaware any theft has happened. For example, a major Canadian credit card company lost over 100 million dollars from frauds in 2009 with an increasing number of compromised POS terminals.

There is a further necessity to increase the security of point-of-sale terminals and to protect them not only from theft by external crime elements but also from swapping by the insider employees and supervisors.

There are several security systems available on the market that focus on anti-theft features of the terminals and protects the units from threats outside the company. Those systems include mechanical protections such as firm metal casing and physical locks attaching the units to the desks, posts and other immobilized units. For example, Verifone SC 5000, KeyCorp K23 and Ingenico 15310, those units, although sturdy and hard to break still can be taken apart by crime elements or by employees.

Other security systems include the attachment of a pressure sensor to the point-of-sale units. Those sensors trigger the alarm in the case of disengagement from the unit. Large variety of those pressure sensors is known in the art and widely used in the retailer sector in electronics and camera theft preventions. The deficiency of pressure sensors is the fact that they can be easily tampered with both by criminal elements and insider workers. Those sensors might be disengaged from the original units while keeping the sensor in a pressed position then transferred to the altered unit and then back, without triggering the alarm.

Further many security systems have an operating key which can turn the alarm off. Those keys are usually available to some employees and supervisors, therefore, the person who has access to those security keys may access the unit after hours and swap it without triggering the alarm.

There are several security systems available that focus on anti-theft features of the terminals that protect the unit from threats outside the company, the POSiTROL/Paymate System has similar anti-theft features, but also has features that make employee theft almost impossible. Even senior employees with the key and security code will need to contact the organizations monitoring company or risk setting off the alarm or the notification.

Therefore, clearly the current security systems available on the market are not answering the growing request for enhanced security of the point-of-sale terminals.

There is still a necessity to secure point-of-sale terminals from inside and outside access and not only from theft but also from swapping.

There is a need in a system that will trigger the alarm in the case of tampering with the unit, in the case of disconnecting the unit from its post, in the case of tampering with the cables of the unit, cutting the cables of the unit, disconnecting the cables of the unit and interrupting the power supply to the unit.

There is a need for a security system that cannot be easily turned off by supervisor just by using a security key without contacting a security company. Even senior employees with the key and security code will need to contact the organizations monitoring company or will risk setting off the alarm or the notification.

There is a need for a system that makes the insider undetected swapping virtually impossible. There is a need for a robust tamper-proof security system which is easy to install simple to operate, very hard to override and still cheap to install and maintain.

There is a need for a system which is not subject to electric disruptions, electromagnetic fluctuation and mechanical tampering, along with all the regular theft proof systems. The unique logic behind the design allows for a stable and robust electrical circuit that is not affected from EMF's, vibration, wear, and poor installation. Once the system is set any change in the current will set off the alarm. If it is connected to a back-up power supply even power surges will not affect the stability of the system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a primary aspect of the invention there is provided a security system which has the following features: within the system an alarm will sound if the unit being protected by the system is removed from its installed position, such as for example a support for a point-of-sale terminal such as a pin pad. Typically in order to remove the unit being monitored from its installed position screws or alternative fasteners will need to be removed and in doing so any contact with the monitoring system, namely a pressure contact, will be disengaged so as to cut the pressure on the contacts which will be sensed in the monitoring circuit for the system and the alarm will sound. Typically the contact is specially designed from cooperative parts made of spring steel which will only close a circuit under pressure, for example when rotating a fastener in a predetermined direction. The contact will release the pressure as the fastener is removed or loosened. Another condition which will activate an alarm is when the monitoring unit is removed from its mounting position such as a mounting post or mounting bracket for carrying the unit being secured. A further condition wherein alarm would sound would be if the power was cut or in the power wires of the system were cut. When the power therefore is cut the buzzer will rely on battery operation. Further if the lines to the sensors are cut or short circuited, the alarm will still sound.

The alarm can be shut off in order to deactivate a buzzer or enunciator in the system but the alarm condition will still be transferred to the remote security monitoring system even if the buzzer or enunciator in the system is deactivated. Deactivation of the alarm sound will not stop the alarm signal for the above mentioned alarm conditions.

Effectively the present invention has provided a layered security system for monitoring a unit or device at risk from tampering or removal for example in such an instance when the thief is attempting to steal credit card information or swap/replace the point-of-sale terminal as described in the background of the invention.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention a security module is provided which monitors positioning of a point-of-sale terminal which is online and being used day-to-day. An example of such a terminal would be a pin pad which is used by consumers to pay for purchases. It is well known when paying for a purchase using a pin pad the consumer swipes his or her debit or credit card, enters a pin number and request authorization of the transaction. The thief may attempt to swap the pin pad for a second pin pad designed to pick up and store credit card and ΡΓΝ information. As described in the background of the invention this is a serious breach of security.

The present invention provides a monitoring security system which is reliable, robust and which monitors the power and the mounting of both the security module and the pin pad, all of which if tampered with will cause an alarm. The security module is conveniently housed in a compact molded housing as described in the detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

Each module will be connected by standard wires, such as telephone wire, with an RJ 1 1 jack to a hub to power the modules and to feed information back to the alarm panel or central alarm monitoring system. The hub provides the power required to the monitoring system module, the hub can supply several modules when multiple modules are present to monitor multiple pin pads. The number of pin pads therefore being monitored as in the case of large superstores would require many hubs or use of large hubs. Each module would include circuitry that takes advantage of the required functionality by providing electrical components rather than electronic components. The electrical components are more reliable and are not subject to interference from EMF, magnetism or the like. Conveniently the module includes a number of relay switches which are set to either a normally open position or a normally closed position but all the relays are not set to the same condition. By providing this logical configuration an alarm condition is set to sound if the module or pin pad are tampered with, in spite of the best efforts of the prospective thief. The details of the circuitry are described in the detailed description of the preferred embodiments. According to a primary aspect of the invention, there is provided a security module for monitoring the status of an article subject to tampering such as a point-of-sale terminal or pin pad, said module comprising:

a casing;

an electrical circuitry board disposed within said casing;

at least one sensor selected from pressure sensors, current sensors, contact sensors, or the like which sense the presence of the article and alarm if the article is tampering with or removed, the electrical circuitry board comprising a set of relays which is in communication with:

(i) central security unit,

(ii) at least one sensor in a closed monitoring loop of the module

wherein an alarm will be generated if the communication is disrupted or tampered with.

According to yet another aspect of the invention there is provided security module for connection to a security hub and monitoring a secure condition of an article subject to tampering, the module comprising integral/external fastener pressure sensors and a module fastener pressure sensor, said module including a set of monitoring relays which monitor the secure condition for the article being monitored, the integral/external fastener pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the article to its support, and the module fastener pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the module to its support, wherein an alarm signal is generated in any of the following conditions occur:

i) the fastener attaching the article to its support is removed;

ii) the fastener attaching the article to its support is tampered with;

iii) a line of the integral fastener pressure sensor is cut;

iv) a line of the integral fastener pressure sensor is short circuited;

v) communication between the module and the hub is disrupted;

vi) power to the module is disrupted;

vii) the fastener attaching the module to its support is removed;

viii) the fastener attaching the module to its location is loosened;

wherein in any of the above conditions an alarm signal would be generated and enunciated locally if appropriate and communicated to the central alarm panel or monitoring service.

In a preferred embodiment the security module may further comprise a sound circuit comprising a battery, an enunciator and an off/on switch, the sound circuit being controlled by a separate relay. In the alarm conditions the separate relay sends an initiating signal to the sound circuit and the enunciator generates an alerting sound.

In another embodiment, the security module may further comprise at least two external pressure sensors, in addition to a module pressure sensor linked to a set of visual indicators indicating the status of the sensors. Preferably, the security module has a LED indicator for each sensor, wherein the indicator switches from an alarm indication to a secured indication immediately with closing the sensor circuit with the fastener. While the alarm indication can be a red light and secured indication can be a green light.

According to yet another embodiment of the invention the security module can be incorporated directly into the pin pad or point of sale terminal subject to protection.

According to further aspect of the invention pressure sensor has a casing enclosing two resilient electrodes separated by an insulator. The electrodes are contacting as a result of tightening the fastener passing through said pressure sensor and separated when said fastener is loosened.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the casing of the sensor is further comprising a step, engaging one of the electrodes and also preventing an over tightening of the sensor by the fastener.

Preferably, the electrodes are having a ring part with an aperture for a fastener, while the insulator has a half ring part to separate the front part of the electrode rings and to allow the motion of the rear part of the electrode rings. The motion of the rear part of the electrode ring is caused by the tightening of the fastener. Preferably the electrodes are made of tin-coated spring steel.

Preferably, the bottom part of the sensor casing is having a first step to engage the rear part of the bottom electrode ring and a second step to support the front part of the bottom electrode ring. Wherein during the fastening of the sensor, a central part of the bottom electrode is pressed downwardly between said steps and as a result the peripheral part of the bottom electrode is flexed upwardly closing the contact with the upper electrode at the rear part of the sensor.

According to yet another aspect of the invention there is provided a method of securing an article. The method comprising a step of fastening an article to its support, while the fastener is passing through the pressure sensor described above; tightening and activating the circuit of the security system. Preferably, the alarm would sound and alarm signal would be sent to the central monitoring system in the event of tampering with the article or removal of the article from its location.

Further benefits of the invention would be apparent to those skilled in the art from review of the following disclosure, claims and drawings for the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a schematic view of the security module of the present invention mounted on a mounting post for a pin pad shown in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2 is a schematic view of the security module of Figure 1 shown in more detail is engaged with a hub illustrated in one embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3 is a schematic view of an overall embodiment of the invention including a hollow engaged with a central alarm and the module itself.

Figure 4 is a schematic logic diagram illustrating the circuitry of the security module of Figures 1 and 2 and illustrated in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

Figure 5 illustrates a circuit drawing for the module in one embodiment of the invention.

Figures 6a, 6b is a schematic side view of the pressure sensor with and without fastener.

Figures 7 to 1 1 illustrate the structure of the pressure sensors 10 a, b, c.

Figure 12 illustrates the exploded view of the internal pressure sensor.

Figure 13 illustrates the exploded view of the external pressure sensor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now generally to the figures and as described in the background of the invention and in the summary of the invention a security module is provided to protect the mounting screws and the power circuit for a point-of-sale terminal such as pin pads. The monitoring module 10 as best seen in Figures 1 and 2 is connected via contacts 10a and 10b to the underside of the mounting bracket 4 which houses a pin pad 1. Typically the pin pad 1 will have fastener receiving holes on its underside which align with the contact positions disposed at 10a and 10b. In those particular mounting positions fasteners which will be monitored by contacts leading to the module 10 will be attached. Each module 10 is mounted on the post or other stand 5 for a pin pad but also can me mounted inside the post or below the support unit hidden from the eyes of customers. The stand 5 further includes portions 2, 3 and 4 for securing the pin pad and blocking the vision of the pin pad from the third parties while typing the pin code. The security module 10 includes a casing 1 1 composed of two outer parts carrying the circuit board seen in Figures 5 and 6. The casing 1 1 is mounted to the post via a port 10c through the module casings 1 1. A convenient key switch 12 is provided in the housing 1 1 to deactivate a buzzer which will be described hereinafter.

Referring to Figure 2 there is illustrated a single security module 10 engaged with the powering hub H at any one of the receiving sockets Jl . In the preferred embodiment jacks Jl are of type RJ 1 1 while the charge travel through the typical telephone wire 17 which engages each module 10 with the hub H. The hub which further engaged with a power supply and also with the alarm system as shown in the Figure 2. Four security modules may be used with the configuration in Figure 2. However, the hub can be easily extended to support more units. Should a single security module be required the smaller hub will be sufficient. An enunciator for an alarm, which might be a buzzer, will be sounded through the opening S as seen in the module 10 which will be described hereinafter. The unit might further comprise a set of LED indicators 13 a, b, c to monitor the status of sensors 10 a, b, c and LED 14 to indicate the status of the system and communication with the hub. The number of LED indicators as well as the number of sensors may vary according to the design requirements.

Referring now to Figure 3 there is a schematic representation of an electrical circuits of the sensors in the module shown in Figure 2. In order to set the alarm according to the conditions discussed in the summary of the invention, relays 21, 22, 23 are provided. Each relay include normally open and normally closed ports and further can be altered prior to implementing inside the module. The module also includes a fourth relay switch 24 which is normally closed so that if the power is cut a battery backup 26 is provided for an enunciator 27. Said enunciator 27 may be a buzzer, bell, alarm or any other audible or visual signaling device; it further may be turned off by the key switch 25. Each of the electrical circuits includes an LED 13a, b, c, 14 to show that the circuit is active when it goes from a powered red to a ready green condition. The ready condition is set by the tightening of the screws to the external contacts 10a, 10b, and internal contact 10c. Any interference or tampering with the system will cause an alarm both in the module and in the monitoring service. One skilled in the art would be clearly familiar with components making up the schematic of Figure 3. However it is the combination of the use of relays and the logic of alternating normally open and normally closed positions which may be instituted with the system that makes it unique. This logic effectively is highly reliable.

Since electronic circuits can be manufactured in a variety of ways, it is possible to integrate the whole security system into the pin pad itself. While keeping the logic and the concept of the invention, this way the sensors might be only internal sensors inside the pin pad and the screws attaching the pin pad to the support would activate the pressure sensors or others security sensors of the security device.

Figure 4 schematically illustrates a logic flow of the system. A central alarm panel 30 is connected to a hub H through link 31 while hub H is connected through the standard RJ 1 1 port and link 35 to a module 1 shown in Figures 2 and 3. It is apparent from the Figure 4 that additional modules 2, 3 and so on, can be further attached to the hub H. In addition the Central Alarm panel can be attached to several hubs connected to several modules. Central Alarm Panel can be a local monitoring system, remote monitoring system or any other type of system receiving the signal that secured device was tempered and transferring this information to an enforcement or technical team.

Figure 5 illustrates a schematic arrangement of electrical connections of the security module. The details of those figures would be readily understood by one skilled in the art. Further many variations can be made to the way of electrical connection of the parts of the module. Therefore, figures are provided for illustrative purpose only and not in a limiting sense.

Figures 7 to 10 illustrate the preferred embodiments of the external sensor for the module. The sensor 10a comprises a bottom part 40 a top part 41 and an orifice 42 receiving the screw or fastener. Internally the sensor has two resilient electrodes 46 and 47 separated by an insulator 45. The assembly of the electrodes inside the sensors illustrated in Figures 12 and 13. Referring to Figure 10, the electrodes 46 and 47 having ring parts 46a and 47a and strip parts 46c and 47c the strip parts are attached to the ring parts and can be formed or contoured to fit the interior of the sensors. The part of the ring close to the strip is considered to be a front of the ring and the part of the ring located away from the strip can be considered as a back of the ring. In the preferred embodiment the back of the ring is bendable and the front is immobilized by the insulator 45.

Referring now to Figure 7 the bottom part 40 of the sensor 10a comprises an electrode receiving head 40a and a wire receiving tail 43 the head 40a further comprises a step 44 to support the bottom electrode 46. Figure 7a is an isometric view , 7b is top view and 7c is a cut side view of the bottom part of the electrode casing. Tail 43 also comprises a step 43a, this step support the strip part of both electrodes and also step 41c of the top sensor part 41.

Insulator 45 illustrated in Figure 9 has a central tube 45a and generally semicircle support 45c. Said support can have separate indents, cuts or like for receiving the strips of the electrodes. In the assembled state, the strip of the bottom electrode is physically separated from the strip of the top electrode by the insulator. Further the support 45c of the insulator keeps rings of the electrodes apart, however as can be seen in Figure 9b the support is substantially semicircular, therefore leaving some freedom of movement to the electrodes at the insulator contact side opposite to the support side. Figure 9c illustrates the side view of the insulator and specifically the extent of the support 45c relatively to the tube 45a. The insulator may be made of any nonconductive material preferably plastic. The insulator is capable of vertical movement inside the head 40a as a result of a pressure provided by the fastener.

Figure 6a illustrates an external pressure sensor while the contacts 47 and 46 are separated and the circuit is open. While Figure 6b illustrates the sensor attached with a Fastener F. In Figure 6b the circuit is closed since the electrodes 47 and 46 are contacting with their respective parts 47a and 46a.

The top part 41 of the sensor is an elastic part in which the head part 41a can be slightly bent under pressure relatively to the tail part 41b proximate the step 41c. Since the part 41 is elastic, when the pressure is removed, this part returns to its normal straight form. The head 41 a is vertically movable in the head part 40a as a result of tightening of the fastener. Therefore the contact between the electrodes ring parts 46a and 47a occurs by bending the top part 41 of the sensor pressed by the screw inwardly and therefore the electrodes are pressed between the step 44 and the ring 41a to close to contact. The closure of the contact powers the electrical circuit and activate the security device. Removal of the screw would allow electrodes to separate, which would break the contract between the electrodes 46 and 47 and will open the circuit, thus setting off the alarm. The step 44 has an important role in the sensor: first, it assists in pressing the electrode rings together and second it prevents over tightening of the screw/fastener. Over tightening might cause irreparable deformation of the electrodes which would prevent its separation following the release of fastener tension. The step 44 prevents this deformation from occurring.

The top and the bottom parts of the pressure sensors can be made of a plastic/polymer material, preferably polycarbonate in order to prevent deformation or cracking under load. The material has to remain resilient and to release the contact while the pressure of the screw or fastener is eased.

The electrodes are made of spring steel or other resilient conductive material which should not deform under load. The electrodes should not crimp or otherwise deform under load and have to retain the elasticity for an extended period of time. The elasticity of the electrodes is essential for breaking the circuit in an event of tampering with the sensors or the fasteners of the sensors. Preferably the electrodes are made of tin plated spring steel. Steel electrodes can be heat treated or chemically treated to reach required level of elasticity. Preferably the thickness of electrodes is about 0.6 mm.

The setup of internal sensor is illustrated in Figures 1 1 and 12. Figure 1 1a illustrates the top view of two electrodes. 1 lb and 1 lc illustrate two electrodes separately and l id illustrates one of the electrodes formed to fit the internal sensor circuitry. The electrodes 48 and 49 are separated by an insulator 45 and inserted into the receiving the part 50 of the module 10. Figure 12a illustrates the exploded view of the assembly of the internal pressure sensor. Figure 12c illustrates a side see through a view of the step 54, Figure 12d illustrates the top part of the column 50, and the Figure 12b illustrates the bottom part of the column 50. The part 50 also comprises a step 54 inside its premises. Therefore, after the tightening of the module to post, the screw will press the electrodes from one side and the step from the other side thus closing the circuit of the internal contact sensor. Removal of the screw will release the contact between the electrodes and sets off the alarm.

It is important to notice that in a preferred embodiment the bottom electrode 46 is one to flex upwardly between the steps 44 and 43a to contact the top electrode 47. While fastener F presses the top part 41 along with the insulator 45 downwardly, insulator presses the bottom electrode ring 46a down into the void between the two steps, as a result, the ring of the bottom electrode is flexed upwardly. Since there is only one area between the electrodes not occupied by the insulator, the electrodes would be contacting in this area. This arrangement eliminates the point load on the metal parts thus there is no possibility to deform any of the electrodes. Therefore, the contact would be released any time the fastener pressure is lessened or eliminated.

LED indicators 13 a, b, c has three indications OFF, RED and GREEN. Then there is no light emitted there is an indication that there is no power supplied to the system or that the LED is broken. When the system is powered but circuit is not closed, the LED emits RED light. Therefore, the RED light means that the system is not protected by a specific sensor. As soon as the sensor is fastened to the pin pad or other device to be secured, the LED turns GREEN. This feature is very useful for the installation of the security system. Since the installer receives an immediate indication when the circuit is closed and working. This way the installer knows when he can stop fastening the device to prevent over tightening.

In normal operational conditions, the circuits of the internal and external contacts 10 a, 10 b, and 10 c are closed, this condition might be indicated by the turning the LED 13 a 13 b 13 c, to emit green light.

Preferably, the unit 10 has the following parts:

1. The alarm and sensor module 10 comprises a case 1 1 made of plastic, metal, poly carbonate or the like, a printed circuit board, one or more sensors 10 a, stand-by battery 26 and alarm speaker 27. The module can be secured to a counter, wall, product mounts 5 or the like alternatively, module can be attached to a product with a cam lock or security screw. Typical module configuration will have three sensors. Two 10a, 10b will engage the product to be secured and an additional internal sensor 10c to secure the module with mounting screw or cam lock.

2. The printed circuit board has two independent, but interconnected electrical circuits.

The main 5 volt circuit receives the power from the system hub or a power adaptor if it is used as a stand-alone unit. This 5 volt current supplies all relays, sensors and LED lights. When the circuit is interrupted the control relay triggers the alarm circuit which is powered by the stand-by 12 volt battery. Since the internal battery is not used to check the alarm status, the stand-by life of the battery increases to over five years.

3. When the device screw or one of the external sensors is tampered, it will trigger a relay which will then trigger both the central alarm relay and the module's internal alarm relay.

4. Each sensor has a corresponding LED light 13 a, b, c. The LED glows red to indicate there is power to the sensor, or that it is in the alarm state. Once the sensor has the required pressure applied by the devise screw the LED turns green to indicate that it is in the ready state.

5. There are several different mounting bases for the module. In one embodiment, the mounting base allows for secure fastening while still allows quick removal of the module for maintenance or upgrading. The base can be mechanically fastened or fastened using two-sided tape.

6. System hub can connect two or more modules into a single zone for the central alarm.

The hub is seen as one zone on the central alarm system and key pad allowing multiple programming options. The central alarm key pad can be programmed that only the system administrator can turn off the POS system and only by letting the monitoring station know that the system is about to be turned off. This enables the staff to turn off exit and motion detectors, but not be able to circumvent the POS security system. The POS system can remain on 24 hours a day and there will always be an outside check to make single employee theft virtually impossible.

7. Optionally the unit might have an uninterrupted power supply.

There are several features that set the current Security System apart from the competition. The unique logic behind the design allows for a stable and robust electrical circuit that is not affected from EMF's, vibration, wear and poor installation. Once the system is set any change in the current will set off the alarm. If connected to the back-up power supply even power surge outages will not affect the stability of the system.

A security module for monitoring the status of an article subject to tampering such as a point of sale terminal or pin pad, said module comprising: a casing (1 1); an electrical circuitry board disposed within said casing; at least one internal or external sensor (10a)/(10c) selected from pressure sensors, current sensors, contact sensors, or the like which sense the presence of the article and alarm if the article is tampering with or removed, the electrical circuitry board comprising a set of relays which is in communication with; (i) a central security unit (30), (ii) at least one sensor (10a) in a closed monitoring loop of the module wherein an alarm will be generated if any of the communications is disrupted or are tampered with.

The security module for connecting to a security hub and monitoring a secure condition of an article subject to tampering, the module comprising integral fastener pressure sensors and a module fastener pressure sensor, said module including a set of monitoring relays which monitor the secure condition for the article being monitored, the integral fastener pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the article to its support, and the module fastener pressure sensor being tightened when attaching the module to its support, wherein an alarm signal is generated in any of the following conditions:

i) the fastener attaching the article to its support is removed;

ii) the fastener attaching the article to its support is tampered with;

Hi) a line (16a or 16b) of the external fastener pressure sensor is cut;

iv) a line (16a or 16 b) of the external fastener pressure sensor is short circuited;

v) communication link(17) between the module and the hub is disrupted;

vi) power to the module is disrupted;

vii) the fastener attaching the module to its support is removed;

viii) the fastener attaching the module to its location is loosened;

wherein in any of the above conditions an alarm signal would be generated and enunciated locally if appropriate and communicated to the central alarm panel or monitoring service.

The security module further comprising a sound circuit see Figure 3, comprising a battery (26), and an enunciator (27) and an off/on switch (25), the sound circuit being controlled by a separate relay (24), wherein in the alarm conditions this separate relay sends an initiating signal to the sound circuit and the enunciator generates an alerting sound.

The security module further comprising at least two integral pressure sensors (10a, 10b), in addition to a module pressure sensor (10c) linked to a set of visual indicators (13 a, b, c, 14) indicating the status of the sensors.

The security module further comprising a set of relays (21, 22, 23) in normally open position one relay per sensor and one relay in normally closed position (24) for sound circuit. The relays can be replaced by another electrical circuitry known in the art. How the system works referring to Figure 4

The HUB has two main functions:

1. Control the circuit from the central alarm panel (normally closed)

2. Power the modules

There is a relay in the HUB (not shown) that keeps the circuit closed for the central alarm panel as long as power is fed to it (item 31).

Any fault in the system including power interruptions, cable short-circuit, disconnections or changes in status of other relays will cause the circuit to open and set off the central alarm and an internal buzzer.

The positive side of the power to the coil in the alarm panel relay goes through every relay in the HUB and then returns to the alarm panel relay (item 32).

By using a series of relays, each relay can be independently powered, but still acts as a switch in series. Allowing one or more breaks in the switching circuit to activate the central alarm controller. It also allows for the LED to indicate if power is going to the module port (RED); if module is in the ready state (GREEN) or if it is in the alarm state (RED). This logic is used in the module relays as well.

Each module has a corresponding control relay inside the HUB (item 33). The corresponding relays inside the HUB are in series so that each module is seen as independent, but they are really just extended series of relays and switches. The positive side of the power 35 that controls the HUB's relays travels through every relay and sensor in the module and then returns to the corresponding relay. This logic allows for an infinite number of modules to be connected to a single HUB 36.

There is one additional relay 37 in the module that is in the series, except that when power is stopped at any point in the entire system it closes the alarm circuit in the module and the buzzer 27 sounds. So at the same time the circuit to the alarm panel triggers the module alarm is triggered. The internal alarm functions as a notification to staff that there is a problem. Since the circuit has its own power supply. A keyed switch could now be inserted between the power supply and the internal alarm. This allows for the unit to ship with the battery installed and for the staff to disconnect the buzzer if there is fault in that module and it cannot be fixed at that moment. With the buzzer turned off the system still allows for security through the central alarm panel. All LEDs still function and the unit still is fully functional with the exception that the buzzer is inactive.

Advantages of using electrical (relays) over electronics (CPU or IC chips)

The use of magnets or EMFs can damage the electronics and/or the software preventing the change in status signal to the alarm panel controller from activating the central alarm.

Any damage to the electrical circuit through short-circuiting or disconnection will always result in the change in status signal to the alarm panel controller to activate the central alarm.

Electrical circuit is far more robust. The modules will be able to handle vibrations and less likely to have false alarms.

The reaction time of the entire system is virtually instant with no lag time from a CPU.

One of the variants of the current invention would be an incorporation of the security circuit into the pin pad itself. This incorporation would reduce the foot print of the device. It will further mask the evidence of the security device and make the whole system more aesthetic. In this embodiment the pin pad would incorporate parts of the circuits illustrated in figure 3. It will comprise an internal contact, a relay and data link. Also it might include LED indicator, sound alarm and switch. The internal contact would be activated during an attachment of the pin-pad to its base. And any tampering with the device such as disconnection, loosening of the screw, shortcutting the cable and other will set off the alarm and also send a signal to the central alarm panel. Alternatively the security device can be integrated into the post 5 supporting the device while the sensors can be internal or external to the post.

It is apparent that the current invention has more utilities besides the protection of the pin pad devices. It also can be used for protection of devices at point of sale such as electronics, computers and hand held devices which can be tightened to a post or other type of support. Pressure activated sensors can also be used in securing doors, windows and other entities capable of creating pressure.

As many variations can be made to the embodiments of the invention without departing from the scope of the invention; it is intended that all matter contained herein be interpreted as illustrative of the invention and not in a limiting sense.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
WO2007096311A1 *16 Feb 200730 Ago 2007The European Community, Represented By The European CommissionSealing device and method for sealing
US7710286 *30 Mar 20074 May 2010Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.Intrusion detection using a conductive material
US20110121967 *19 Abr 200726 May 2011Honeywell International Inc.Tamper-proof security system component
Clasificaciones
Clasificación internacionalG08B13/22, G01L1/26, G08B13/06, G08B13/14
Clasificación cooperativaG07G3/003, G07G1/0018, G07F7/1033
Clasificación europeaG07G3/00B, G07G1/00B, G07F7/10P2
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