back to article Yes! It's the sawed-off USB key!

Ripping a USB cable in half is an achievement, but your friends will be even more impressed when they discover it still performs data transfers. sawed_off_flash_key_1 Evil Mad Science Laboratories’ inserted a flash drive into the USB jack The sawed-off USB key features in the Evil Mad Science Laboratories’ (EMSL) online IT …


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  1. Daniel B.


    I wonder how would this couple with my own 1Gb "bubblegum" Kingmax Flash drive. That is, one I have that is so small it seems like one of those Trident gum sticks! You just "stick" it in the USB cable socket, with the copper-connector end facing inside.

    That used to freak out some dudes back when I first bought it one year ago, as they thought I was sticking a Memory Stick into the USB connector!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Someone should sell this

    Title says it all...

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Brings a whole new perspective on the old "the dog ate my homework".

  4. Daniel Silver badge


    Mad as a box of frogs!

    <runs off to make his own sawed-off USB key>

  5. John Widger

    Awesome ;)

    The possibilities are endless. Industrial espionage for starters. You are limited by your imagination.

  6. Hate2Register

    What about a nice walkthrough on making a that USB weirdity?

    So why can't you do a youtube video with a nice walkthrough on making the USB weirdity? Can't be bothered? Not useful? hmm.

    Spies might like it..

  7. Simon

    My own storyTM

    Not too long ago i demonstrated to a work colleague how to upload several 10s of meg onto a floppy disc.

    It actually just had a FTP client on the disc and I just used that to upload it onto a server, but I convinced him it was all going onto a disc via a "Magic program".

    He is currently doing an IT degree it makes me shudder thinking about it...

  8. Henry Cobb

    Too obvious

    Install the flash drive in a cable that keeps both ends.

    Nobody will suspect a USB cable of being a storage device and plenty of people carry cables to connect cameras or charge cell phones.

    Extra credit if it still works as a cable.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    15 minutes before this shows up on ThinkGeek...

    Start your watches!

  10. yeah, right.

    leave the cable

    Allow the USB to "pass through", saving the information transmitted to an embedded flash drive. Maybe the other end of the cable could include a wifi transmitter so that the flash drive can be unloaded remotely.

    Damn. Should have patented that.

  11. Pyros

    To Hate2Register

    Check the link provided.

    Basically, pry the flash board out of its case, open the appropriate head of the cord, cut the wires and take out everything except the plug, insulate the board and stick it in, then glue the head back together and saw the cord off.

    You get the idea.

    (Note: There's some really interesting stuff on that site--I also have an urge to make a Lego stick, as well.)

  12. tim

    some people have no lives

    sad, sad.

  13. E


    That is very funny. I'm gonna make one for work.

  14. Dave Bell

    And Bluetooth

    Trust, long-established purveyer of last year's geekery, now have one of those ultra-small Bluetooth adaptors in their range.

    Make a dummy cable, with no actual electrical connection, but Bluetooth at each end.

    Connect two computers. While exchanging files, chop through the cable with an axe.

    Now that's a fault-tolerant connection.

  15. Charles Manning

    With a bit more effort this could have been wireless

    Just solder an antenna-looking thing onto onto each end of the cable and you could say to the sucker:"Gee I wonder what range it has" and get him/her to walk a few hundred metres away to test it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wireless USB?

    My friend's dog ate half of his USB stick a few months ago. Most of the circuit board (which was made visible) was still present, but unfortunately the drive no longer functioned.

    I suppose if you can get one of these for cheap you can convince your friends that your 5 year old USB 1.1 PC actually connects to "Wireless USB" devices.

  17. Trygve Henriksen
    Thumb Up

    If you REALLY want to play havoc...

    And assuming that you're a bit of a BOFH...

    Take one of those 14/21/24/41/-in-one USB memorycard readers, gut it and place a USB memorystick inside it.

    Make certain that it contains the boss' Pr0n-collection and an autorun.inf file...

    Leave it next to the PC in a conference room...

  18. dervheid

    @ Trygve Henriksen

    "Leave it next to the PC in a conference room..."

    and collect your coat/clear your desk on the way out!

  19. Richard

    Wireless the key

    Next step insert a wireless dongle into the fob for true data transfer with the torn cable still connected

  20. Anonymous Coward


    "Sawn" surely?

    Although looking it up, reveals that the Americans have obliterated yet another chunk of our language.

    We might as well communicate with fucking grunts.

  21. A J Stiles

    More BOFHiness

    How about putting a 13 amp plug on the other end?

    Just in case anybody is daft enough actually to plug this thing in, don't actually wire the USB cable to anything, but connect a 4.7k ohm resistor between live and earth. This should trip the ELCB before the resistor melts (it will be dissipating about 11 watts for a brief instant) and cause instant unpopularity.

  22. Scott Broukell

    Cable shmable

    I knew a bloke who could charge up a piece of coaxial cable. Don't know how he did it, but he would present you with a cable, about 1m in length, with bare twisted conducters visible at each end. "Go on, hold each end of this" he would say, with a gleam in his eye. "WTF, how is a stoopid bit of cable, unattached to any visible source, going to hurt me?" the recipeint would ponder. Then, **BELT** Zapf, **kerpow**, you recieved a healthy kick, which left you scratching your head, lots :-)

    I think he held tight to one of the conducters (outer sleeve maybe) and had somehow charged himself up!, thus discharging when somebody else connected (dunno really).

  23. jai
    Thumb Up


    awesome - that site is gonna keep me occupied all weekend long - brilliant!!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Scott Broukell

    Ah the coax capacitor not done that in years... hehe

  25. John
    Thumb Down


    It's a cable, so as others have said, should have been WIFI. Because transfer is for cables!

    From the headline I first thought it was some kind of physical attack vector, either hosting a virus or a capacitor or something.

  26. Pete

    @ Scott Broukell

    Sounds like he sneaked a capacitor or few into the cable. I remember a similar thing from physics experiments at school - three elements, a D battery, a capacitor, and you (in parallel to the cap) holding the bulldog clips. Touch the clips to the sides of the battery, don't feel anything, cap charges up. Break the circuit with the battery... zap! Discharge.

    Though you do need a fairly large capacitor to get a good zap, so still a bit weird that he got it working in the cable, unless he went to a lot of effort with little caps in parallel...

  27. andy gibson

    Stick the frayed end....

    into a Sinclair ZX81. Although not pocket friendly, it would be a cool looking memory device.

  28. Simon Riley


    ...and if you get a Crucial GIZMO stick there's 4GB of storage. I'll be knocking one of those up when the bits arrive!

  29. Anonymous Coward


    no the cable is the capacitor, the outer braid has a large surface area to store electrons on hence has its own capacitence, it is perfectly capable of delivering a substantial shock especailly as coax can hold upto several KV you just need a good HT source to charge it say the back of a crt monitor... good old tech...

  30. Scott Broukell

    @ Pete - Human Capacitor

    But there was absolutely no sign of other wires, batteries or capacitors - just this standard 6mm x 1m coaxial cable. Could he have charged himself, like a human capacitor ?

  31. Ed


    For someone with the know-how and the parts, there's plenty of room for a few capacitors inside a 1m coaxial cable. Of course, feeding a bunch of tiny capacitors connected in parallel into the cable would be quite frustrating for most people, so I'm suspecting that there were just a couple; one in either end (where you have that nice, big metal fitting one could hide them in).

    People *can* charge themselves; otherwise, you wouldn't get that shocking affect when moving around wearing fluffy sweaters in a reasonably dry environment, and then touching something metal. However, he'd feel the zap also - it's just as unpleasant to have the charge leave you suddenly as it is to get it suddenly. Furthermore, people don't make really good capacitors - too many opportunities for discharge, and if you try pushing it too far, you can have other problems, also...

  32. trackSuit

    More Modz

    More mods which can realistically be done at home...

    Smart people, those Finns.

  33. Marc P Summers

    I Agree - this should be on the market

    I agree someone should sell these - they are fun!

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