NCR Corp. has formed an alliance with the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland to combat the estimated $1 billion in annual automated teller machine fraud losses worldwide.

The corporate-academic alliance, announced last week, is aimed at uncovering emerging fraud threats to ATMs.

Researchers will use a method known as "ethical hacking," when a company contracts with a computer security expert to try to penetrate the firm's network.

"Ethical hacking is designed to stop would-be hackers and viruses before crimes occur," NCR said in a press release.

The alliance between NCR, which operates a research and development center in Dundee, and the University of Abertay will focus on authentication measures required to gain access to ATMs.

Fraud losses in Europe alone have reached $696 million a year, according to the European ATM Security Team in Edinburgh.

NCR and the United Kingdom's Knowledge Transfer Partnerships program are funding the research effort.

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