USB Keyboard Prankster

Being a long time prankster, [cyclonite] came up with this pretty clever hack in an old USB flash drive.

The drive was removed from its case, and the stock memory and controller was removed. On the back, an attiny 2313 is glued to the pcb, while resistors are swapped to work with the VUSB library. Wirewap wire is used to jumper all the needed points to the new micro controller on the back, and a temporary ICSP header was fitted on the end to load software.

What your’re left with is an innocent looking usb drive that, when plugged in, sets itself up as a keyboard then proceeds to toggle the caps lock on your victims computer every few minuets. Classic.

Join us after the break for a quick video.

26 thoughts on “USB Keyboard Prankster

  1. Nice trick to play on your coworkers :)

    to bad the video is blurry and only has readable text in fullscreen, maybe use a bigger font in notepad?

  2. “proceeds to toggle the caps lock on your victims computer every few minuets.”

    Wait… They have to be dancing for this to work? :D

  3. I did something like this with the Teensy (http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensy.html)

    Using there keyboard/mouse library.
    In addition to caps lock it would also move the mouse randomly at times, press the home key and scrol the window down.

    I put it on a co-workers computer when he was on vacation. It was great fun when he got back watching him try to figure out what is wrong with his KVM.

  4. prankster
    “hey- want a free thumbdrive?”

    victim
    “sure! (plugs it in) hmmm, my computer does not seem to think it is a thumbdrive. (?)”

    prankster
    “(hehe – this is so great!)”

    victim
    “hey- why is my caps key toggling? maybe, by the powers of obvious deduction, that broken thumbdrive is the problem. (unplug, toss)”

    prankster
    “hey! don’t throw that away! i burned my fingertips making that!”

    victim
    “making that? you mean you made a gadget and are pranking me?”

    prankster
    “(smirking)”

    victim
    “(facebook unfriend) (picks up phone) hello, security?”

  5. It can be less obvious if its plugged directly to the usb connectors (directly to the pins) on the motherboard, where it can be left unnoticed for years.

    As a bonus it’s a more easy build.

  6. The flaw here is that windows and PC’s in general are so quirky that we all would try removing a flash drive to solve unrelated issues, it makes sense in the world of computers to try the illogical :)

    I know I had devices plugged in causing issues that you would not think could possibly be related.

  7. I found a key plugged into my computer at work one time. It didn’t seem to be a memory key. I flushed it.

  8. With a Teensy and the SD adaptor soldered on, you could make this keyboard prank AND have it be a flash drive at the same time. Admittedly it’s only 12 Mbit/sec, but it would pass the “hey, this thing isn’t a disk” test.

    The programming required would be just a few lines in Arduino. With Teensyduino installed, the ‘Tools > USB Type’ has the option for a USB disk with SD card media and simultaneously a USB keyboard. :-)

  9. Quick autohotkey script would be less noticeable, and less expensive, but for a weekend project and some re-programming this has potential.

  10. @editors, learn how to spell “minutes”
    @Paul better yet, add a USB hub chip and actually have two high speed devices :)

  11. “I found a key plugged into my computer at work one time. It didn’t seem to be a memory key. I flushed it.

    Posted at 9:30 am on May 4th, 2011 by dbear”

    that’s retarded.. Software unlock keys are like that, you probably cost the company several thousand dollars because of your lack of education.

  12. Nice prank. I’ve done something similar, however, note that this only works on Windows. On OSX and Linux (AFAIK) caps-lock seems to be keyboard specific.

  13. It is hardly funny for the victim, or the company with the lost IT time mopping up your mess.

    Any good company policy or employment agreement would prohibit such malicious activities and list it as grounds for summary dismissal.

    Have fun on the unemployment line.

  14. “I found a key plugged into my computer at work one time. It didn’t seem to be a memory key. I flushed it.

    Posted at 9:30 am on May 4th, 2011 by dbear”

    that’s retarded.. Software unlock keys are like that, you probably cost the company several thousand dollars because of your lack of education.

    Posted at 11:19 am on May 4th, 2011 by fartface

    software unlock keys cost several thousand dollars? what are you- rainman?

  15. you know what would be cool, if someone could develop a similar project using a microontroller or a standard usb drive and that when attached to the “adversaries” machine would take control of their webcam and desktop session and be able to record/broadcast live on a given hTTp link on the internet at the command of the victor.!!, i have it part working , any hints and ideas could come in handy.!!

  16. I am interested in someone coming up with a device that would make a random shrieking squeal anytime a certain key is pressed. Ideally, it would randomly choose from a few different squeals in sound and length.

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