Hidden USB Storage




If you're like me, you may or may not have secret files plotting world domination and other devious deeds. These files obviously need to be hidden from the prying eyes of sisters, FBI agents, grandparents, etc. We are going to convert a phone jack in the wall into a secret USB memory device.

Note: I am not responsible for any illegal files or folders hidden on this device. Use your discretion before downloading any content you may believe to be illegal.

Now, with that out of the way, lets start building!

Side-note: check out my newest online project APERTUREshift!

Step 1: What You Need

I did this project without spending a dime. If, however, you aren't privileged to have a box full of miscellaneous wires, you may have to buy some cheap items.


1. Quality USB cable - I used an old iPod cable.

2. RJ-11 cord - Make sure there are four wires inside by looking through the clear connector. If you only see two wires, find a different cable.

3. A USB extension cord - make sure one of the ends is female. (You can go without this but you will have to break open your memory stick, and mess around inside...not suggested.)

4. USB stick containing your secret data.

5. And finally, the phone jack from the wall.


1. Zippo or a different, inferior lighter.

2. Shrink tubing - If you don't have some of this stuff around the house, you should be ashamed of yourself.

3. Knife or wire strippers.

4. Screwdriver.

5. Solder and soldering iron.

Step 2: Castrate the Male

The first thing you will want to do is cut off the male end of the USB extender. Keep as much wire on the female side as possible. (1st pic)

Strip the plastic, braided shielding, and foil shielding off the wires. USB 2.0 uses four wires to transfer 5VDC and data. However, my extender had a fifth unshielded copper wire that helped keep everything from crimping. This fifth wire is useless, and I cut it off. (2nd pic)

Step 3: Red to Red, White To.....Yellow?

The Standard USB colors are black, white, green, and red. The standard phone jack colors are black, yellow, green, and red. The similarity made it simple - match all the colors, and match the white and yellow.

Loosen four screws on the back of the phone jack. (1st pic)

Now take each of the four wires from the female USB, and tighten them to their respective screws. (2nd pic)

Insert your memory stick, and your done with the in-wall portion (3rd pic)

Step 4: Solder, Shrink, Repeat

You're going to need to expose the wires of the iPod USB cable. As before, strip off the rubber, metal braid, and foil. I also found some fiberglass in-between the wires for strength - just cut those off. After exposing the four wires, CAREFULLY strip each, keeping the metal inside as intact as possible. (1st pic)

Now grab the phone cord, and cut off one of the ends leaving about 2 in of wire. Strip the outer casing and strip each of the four wires. (2nd pic)

Take a piece of shrink tubing slightly larger than the iPod cable, and slide it down to the end of the iPod cord. Make sure you do this first, or you will have to undo your solder joints to put it on. Now take some small shrink tubing and slip it over one of the small phone wires, twist corresponding USB and phone wires together, and solder. Don't use too much solder or the shrink tubing will not fit over the joint. After soldering, slide the shrink tubing over the joint and shrink with your nifty Zippo lighter (or a heat gun). Repeat this for all four wires, matching the colors like you did in step 3. (3rd & 4th pic)

Remember the large shrink tubing over the USB cable? It's time to slide it over the entire joint creating a semi-professional finish. (5th pic)

Step 5: Done!

If, your memory stick has a LED on it like mine, I would suggest putting a piece of electrical tape over it so that it doesn't reveal your secrets. Attach the fake phone jack to the wall, and replace the face plate. If you used a phone box from Radioshack, simply attach it to an inconspicuous spot on the baseboard near your computer.

To access your secret plans, all you do is plug the USB end into your computer and the phone end into your fake phone jack. It should show up as a USB mass storage device.

Congratulations! your plans are now well hidden. Thank you for reading my Instructable; comments are appreciated as usual.



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    482 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago

    How hard would it be to adapt this to a USB 3.0 standard?


    3 years ago

    Use Case: Protect your files on your computer with that and use it as a deadmans switch while having an encrypted Harddrive. https://github.com/alaska/deadman.

    Or a Storehouse for the partition/file decryption key files. No files, no open.


    For more secrecy, use a telephone cord that goes up to your computer and then using a female to male telephone cord extender, replace the male with the usb so you have a switch...and if you ever get caught just plug it into your computer (assuming you have a telephone input and it won't cause popups :) )

    Wow! This really is a great idea! I think I might try it in some form or another.

    Just be careful with a hack like this. If you accidentally plug the wire into a live phone jack and get a phone call (over POTS) you could seriously fry your motherboard on your machine.


    5 years ago

    Just made an ethernet version works great :) thank you

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Just use the same principles as this. RJ-45 has 8 wires instead of the 4 for RJ-11. Pick 4 wires and then follow this procedure.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm simply amazing that this has remained wrong for 6 years. you are not the first to point it out.


    5 years ago on Step 5

    I enjoyed the whole 'secret plans' spy theme to your Ible. Also, generally an excellent idea.

    But the first thing I thought when you said that one would need to hide those files from the FBI was that the FBI would probably open your phone jacks to plant bugs and find your secrets by accident.

    Either way, great Ible, and you made me smile. :D

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That awkward moment when you go to store your secrets in a phone jack and find existing bugs!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Going to make this with my unused wall phone jack upstairs. Its not even connected to anything, so will make a perfect hiding place

    Wow, this is amazing! How I wish I had stumbled upon your secret site when I was still back in my teenage years and had so much more stuff to hide from the parents/sisters/teachers. Now, I can still do it just for the sake of how mysterious it is going to feel like. However, I am not really a technical kind of person and it would be great if you could post an instructional video for this amazing spy storage device? I would appreciate if you could do that, but no worries if you do not have the time to do so. I understand that you might be busy doing up other spy gadgets. ;)

    Wow I love it, just bought a soldering iron and it arrived today, cant wait to try this out.



    5 years ago on Step 5

    I did this with a 1TB USB powered external hard drive with an EXISTING phone jack in my house. They guy who built it put in phone jacks with 4 jacks in each plate (and there is plenty of space below the plates to mount a disk drive). Only one of them in each room works, leaving 3 to play with. One of the jacks goes to power the drive and one is for data transfer, and I have one more for whatever purpose I want! Time to put a powered speaker into my brother's room with preexisting wiring!