USB mouse with storage added

[Thice] wanted to try his hand at incorporating a USB driving into other devices. He chose to add storage to his USB mouse but didn’t want to alter the factory look provided by a color-changing LED inside. To make things fit he ended up cutting a good portion of a USB hub’s circuit board off and placing it beneath the mouse circuitry. You can see the board from the thumb drive wedged into one end of the case in the image above.

He sees this as a way of hiding data in plain sight. This is true, and it’s along the same lines we’ve seen before with a WiFi dongle in a mouse, or the thumbdrive in a controller hacks. To be truly hidden we’d like to see someone incorporate a microcontroller that monitors the mouse buttons for a certain code, and then toggles the voltage to the USB storage. This would simulate plugging and unplugging the drive, hiding it virtually as well as physically.

Comments

  1. Luke says:

    “I fear you are underestimating the sneakiness, sir.”

  2. NateDogg says:

    Second Baptist Church! I’m numba 2!

  3. Rob says:
  4. Addidis says:

    Ok just to complicate your good idea :
    Design your own controller chip (using 18f26j50)

    Then make the storage device a micro sd card cause theyre smaller and cooler :P

    Load the micro SD firmware into a bootloader.

    To enter the bootloader (which u should take out the bootloading part lol) you turn the scroll wheel to imput a combination while holding a button combo.

    Now you have a pretty sweet spy quality hidden storage device.

    It would actually be relatively easy too.

  5. biozz says:

    i love the concept but i have yet to find a use for something like this

  6. Addidis says:

    PS the bootloader would need a composite mouse & msd firmware or your mouse would stop working lol.

  7. fartface says:

    Better is to put a tiny switch to DISABLE the storage, that way you can discreetly enable it, copy the files and then disable it again.

    Best would be to use a microSD card reader in it so you can extract the card and slip it in a slit cut in your shoe to smuggle it in and out of the facility.

  8. makethismaze says:

    I could see this being useful if you use a laptop and always carry around and external mouse as well as a usb stick.
    I wonder if it could be modified somehow to also work with the wireless usb mice.

  9. Edward says:

    “[Toggle] the voltage to the USB storage”

    IMO that is not enough, you need to hide the hub as well otherwise it will be quite obvious that something is hidden in the mouse.

    How could one successfully hide the hub as well as the drive while allowing the mouse to work normally until the code is entered?

  10. mixadj says:

    @Addidis : With a 4 way scroll the code should be UUDDLRLR on scroll then LC-RC………..

  11. Wolfton says:

    Guess I can’t bring my personal mice to work anymore…

  12. Don says:

    Hmmm Use usb key board instead .More room to hide
    devices.

  13. Frink says:

    @Edward: Maybe reading the article instead of just looking at the picture would help you understand things better. The hub is actually cut down and hidden inside the mouse. It connects to the PC using the original mouse cable. The mouse and memory stick are then soldered to the hub.
    Neat trick, similar to what the eeepc modding scene has been doing for a few years now.

  14. Mike says:

    @Edward

    Use some tristates to swap the connections between the mouse itself and the hub with the mouse connected

  15. Addidis says:

    @mixadj Exactly, and i love the old mortal combat reference.

    The problem with this as a covert device is when you plug it in a HUB is enumerating NOT a mouse. Then a mouse enumerates. Im venturing a guess that this setup takes about 45 seconds to fully enumerate. Thats not fast. The reason for this is as follows.
    Hub enumerates,
    hub resets,
    hub sees mouse,
    hub enumerates mouse,
    hub resets,

    In device manager a new hub will show up. If you know where to look you can track where this hub is and what it has connected.
    As it installs a slew of messages , and resets will occur.

    VS what i suggested :
    On plug in the mouse would install in about 8 seconds.
    No other devices would show up but a mouse.
    with one hand you could enter the “bootloader” magically the mouse disconnects and a composite mouse and msd will enumerate. This shouldtake about 20 seconds. The window for the Microsd will pop up automatically. Drop in the files , a quick key combo to reset the device and in 8 seconds or so your MSD device is disconnected and your mouse is back to normal.

  16. Edward says:

    @Frink
    I did not mean physically.

    When plugged in this mouse will look to the computer to be a hub and a mouse. Anyone who gains access to the mouse and plugs it in (or watches the screen while you plug it in) will be able to notice that there is a hub inside the mouse.

    [Mike Szczys] noted that one could hide the flash drive by requiring a code before it gets voltage. This would not hide the fact that there is a hub inside the mouse and thus not hide the fact that the mouse has been altered.

    My question is. How can one create a mouse where the only way of detecting the hidden flash drive is by looking inside, entering the code or some electronic analysis of the mouse (but to do that last one would require suspicion in the first place and is thus not a significant concern as far as this project is concerned.

  17. M4Lki3r says:

    @Edward
    What if you ditched the hub and used a toggle switch to toggle the power between the mouse portion and the flash drive? You would lose use of the mouse, but who really needs a mouse to copy files?
    Actually, if you wrote a script to copy the files you wanted onto the flash drive, called the flash drive with an autorun, you wouldn’t even need to type.

  18. Shadyman says:

    @fartface:

    Maybe a magnetic reed switch, that way there are no outward signs.

  19. I like the idea. Having a uC would definately help. Such as passwords inside, auth stuff. When the secret service come in and shut everything down, and sieze it, they rarely sieze the mouse keyboard.

  20. Addidis says:

    @ edward read my post…

  21. Bit Mage says:

    “Certain code”
    like up, up, down, down, left, right, b, a?
    You have a left/right a/b mouse with an up/down wheel?

  22. Addidis says:

    The scroll wheel on some mice also goes left or right.

    Up – scroll wheel forward
    down – scroll wheel backwards
    left – scroll wheel left
    right – scroll wheel right
    A – left mouse
    B – right mouse

    Key combo to accept code – left and right bumper buttons.

    ;)

  23. @Shadyman, reed switches are soooo last century.
    Better to use an accelerometer sensor to detect the mouse being moved in a preset direction sequence to “unlock” the flash.

    an interesting idea is to emulate a keyboard and write the driver in Notepad, do File-Save as xxx.drv to the root directory and “All Files”, then have the PC automagically load the driver using the mouse to select the driver from the list.
    Only emulations needed are mouse and generic keyboard…

  24. bemis says:

    Thanks a lot you bastards, it took me 20 minutes to put my mouse back together after wanting to look how much space was in there… :)

  25. madh2orat says:

    Now all we need is to be able to incorporate it into a wireless mouse. (yes, I know it doesn’t quite work that way.)

  26. Patrick says:

    Lol people steal mice, think they’re not gonna see “new thumbdrive detected” pop up?

  27. MistaKD says:

    A nice and simple hidden storage setup:
    Thumbdrive inside a wall enclosure wired to a female telephone jack.
    Inside the pc the female telephone jack on the 56k pci modem you never use is wired to an internal usb port on a usb pci card.
    When you plug your 56k modem into the wall telephone jack, instant storage device.
    Fun easy project that I should really instructable.

  28. blue carbuncle says:

    Not the prettiest gal at the dance but reminds me of something I would do lol. Kudos for getting everything chopped down and wired together :)

  29. Oren Beck says:

    Sigh.. everyone seems to think that Hacking=Exploit.

    Oh, there’s a plausible zone of declaring “White Hat” reasons for brainstorming exploit vectors to plug those holes. That’s an aspect of being a Hacker with honor )

    I’d suggest the applications of this excellent Hack be things that are simply utility/functional. From that angle of approach?

    Windows users that might have life get easier by the Portable Apps suite+ THEIR personal folders etc being embedded in the mouse or USB keyboard they keep with them.

    Or- Flash-Puppy with BT/WiFi radios in that mouse or USB kybd as a service tool that bypasses a munged OS for legit saving of a user’s files. Hell, you can get REALLY extreme and cram a 3G radio into mouse or kybd as a way to export stuff you are pulling off a machine.

    I have a USB hub epoxied to one of my Cherryswitch “service keyboards” that has an embedded trackball. Since the kybd was PS/2 and most of my calls would have been a PITA to access those ports-PS/2>USB converter FTW! It was used for a set of jobs reflashing Kiosk PCs. One USB plug instead of juggling flash drives, keyboard and mouse. By the 10th kiosk ticket that day, I wondered why I had not done it sooner.

  30. now that is a really good idea! i love it.

  31. MrCung says:

    I did the same thing, but with a 3G modem. That way i would be able to cheat in my exams :P

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