We know our alums are stars, but when the New York Police Department pilots the work of one of our own — making national headlines in the process — we just have to share it.

The latest example of our newsworthy alumni is Patrick Traynor, ’02, who is now an associate professor in the department of computer and information science and engineering at the University of Florida. The cybersecurity expert has created the “Skim Reaper” alongside two graduate students to combat credit card fraud at ATMs. 

The Associated Press broke the news that the New York Police Department was piloting the tool, and multiple others jumped on the story, too, including Gizmodo, the New York Post and more.

It took three years for Traynor and his students to invent the credit card-thin gadget that slides into card reader slots and easy detects if an ATM or gas pump has been compromised. Traynor provided five Skim Reapers to the NYPD earlier this year, and they say they believe the $50 device could help end these crimes.  

“I’ve been doing skimming for approximately five years now and I have never used anything like this,” Det. James Lilla, also of the Financial Crimes Task Force, told the Associated Press. “It’s definitely an assist we can use to combat ATM skimming.”

While at Richmond, Traynor majored in computer science and minored in biology and business. We are so proud we can claim this impressive expert as one of our own!

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