OCR an RSA key fob (security token)

Posted by user130582 on Stack Overflow See other posts from Stack Overflow or by user130582
Published on 2009-12-31T04:08:35Z Indexed on 2010/03/16 21:11 UTC
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I put together a quick WinForm/embedded IE browser control which logs into our company's bank website each morning and scrapes/exports the desired deposit information (the bank is a smallish regional bank). Since we have a few dozen "pseudoaccounts" that draw from the same master account, this actually takes 10-15 minutes to retrieve.

Anyway, the only problem is that our business bank account reuires an RSA security token (http://www.rsa.com/node.aspx?id=1156)--if you are not familiar, it is a small device which shows a random 6 digit number every 15(?) seconds, so I have to prompt for this value before starting. This is on top of the website's login based security model, so even if you create a read-only account that can't do anything, you still have to put the RSA number in. We have 5 of these tokens for different people in the company.

From our perspective this is nusiance security. I was joking about using a web camera to OCR the digits from the key fob so they didn't have to type it in -- mainly so that the scraping/export would be done before anyone arrives in the morning. Well, they asked if I could really do it.

So now I ask you, how hard (how many hours) do you think it would take to OCR these digits reliably from a JPEG image produced by the camera? I already know I can get the JPEG easily. I think you get 3 tries to log in, so it really needs to hit a 99% accuracy rate. I could work on this on my off time, but they don't want me to put more than a few hours into it, so I want to leverage as much existing code as possible. This is a 7-segment display (like an alarm clock) so it's not exactly text that an OCR package would be used to seeing.

Also--there is a countdown timer on the side of the display; typically when it is down to 1 bar, you wait until the next number appears and it starts over at 5 bars (like signal strength on your cell phone). So this would need to be OCRd as well but it is not text.

Anyway the more I think about it as I type this, the less convinced I am that I can truly get this right, so maybe I should just work on it in my spare time?

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