Hidden Memory Mod

Posted in: Uncategorized by admin on January 13, 2009

I have wanted to do a hidden memory mod for some time now. At work I am exposed to information about all the sneaky places to hide contraband. And combined with my Computer Forensic training, I have been dieing to do a Proof of Concept that anything could contain data, and Computer Forensic Analysts should never focus just on the HDD.

There are 4 requirements:

  1. The device must remain fully functional.
  2. The device must show no signs of modification to the naked eye.
  3. The memory mod must use off the shelf items to prove anyone can complete it. (No custom circuit boards, or expensive gadgets.)
  4. The device item must be a common item to a PC and easily overlooked. (no gutted UPS’s with connected serial cables for example) “The best place to hide something is in plain sight”.

My first attempt was a failure. I tried to hide memory into a Microsoft mouse. To keep a long story short, I was not able to slip a USB hub (the size of 2 AA batteries) into the mouse casing, no matter how much I carved out of it. 2 days and 3 mice later I put the project on indefinite hold.

…Until this beauty arrived in my office. With a on board 2-port USB hub, it was almost too easy.

The USB Keyboard Memory Mod.

1 USB keyboard with built in HUB
1 Female USB cable
Phillips Screw Driver
Soldering Gun & fine solder
Flash Memory Drive (any size)

Time: ~2 hours

Your average run of the mill USB keyboard, plenty of internal cavity to work with.

A couple inch USB extension cable. Cut off the male end and strip it back just a little bit.

Tear down the keyboard and remove its circuit board. Using a multimeter match the colored wires to their counterpart on the circuit board below the USB port. Then solder it on. Excuse the yellow electrical tape, one of the wires was fraying and touching its neighbor. Its delicate work, definitely the smallest wires I have ever soldered.

Assemble. There is plenty of room in here for many things powered over a single USB port. Currently you can buy 32GB flash drives at my favorite store, that could be a lot of overlooked damning information.

Once its all togeather, the only tell tale signs are the hole in the sticker to access a screw. One nonworking USB port, should you try to use it… And a drive will show up if you plug it into your PC.

Done! One working Keyboard with working memory.

This is only a proof-of-concept. I do not advocate illegal activity’s, I do advocate privacy. Not that it matters because you use TrueCrypt anyway….right?


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