Prank/Secret Storage - IPhone USB Cable




About: I studied Maths and Computing, worked in an Operation Research department, retrained as a civil engineer, worked on site for some major projects. I'm learning to be a structural engineer at the moment! I've ...

I had a USB memory stick that had fallen apart, and I had an iphone USB cable that didn't work. So I thought about combining the two and making a secret USB storage cable, which can then be used to prank people.

I used an iPhone cable as I had a broken one, but you could do this with any USB cable.

Date made: March 2013
Approx Cost: £0 - reusing old broken stuff
Approx Time: 0.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Things You Need

1. iPhone cable
2. Scissors/knife
3. Glue
4. Rubber/Eraser (optional)
5. USB Storage.

I had a cheap copy of a LaCie USB key. It wasn't very well made and the cover kept splitting, and the internals would move as they weren't stuck down well. 

I threw the case out in the end as the internals moved and connectors would touch the metal case. Not clever.

I kept the inside though as it still worked fine.

For this task, you need a similar type of USB storage; a very small flat one! I'm sure there are plenty out there.

Step 2: Take Apart USB Cable

First cut off the USB connector from your cable. I just used some scissors and cut the wire.

If you can keep a section of the cable surround where the cable joins the connector - we can use this later to cover up some of the glue.

Next separate the components.

The cover should slide off, and then you might have to prise the metal surround apart to get the old connector out. Try not to damage the metal part or the cover in the process though!

Step 3: Add Storage in to Old Housing

(Tip: Try putting everything together first without glue to see how it fits, to see if any changes are needed.)

My USB storage wasn't thick enough to fill the metal connector, so it needed to be packed out.

I did this with a paper template and cut a bit of old eraser (rubber). This could be done with plastic or glue though.

I built it up to the same thickness as the inside of the metal housing, and glued together.

Next, put it in the metal housing. Glue it in place.

Next put the cover back over. Again glue it in place.

You can stop here if you wish, as you now have a nice neat small housing for your USB. But it's not secret, just small, so we will continue!

Additional Note: Thinking about this during write up; you probably don't need this rubber if you glue it down properly, and you could then use the space for the cable to be glued back in, or you could leave a channel in the rubber for the cable to be glued in - Pull the cable through the hole and glue it in place before gluing the cover on.

Step 4: Connect Back to Cable

At this point just glue the cable back in to the hole that it came from!

(Also see additional note in Step 3, about leaving a channel/space for the cable within the connector.)

Depending on the size of your connector you might have lots of room or you might not (There are different sized connectors). If its small, there may not be much room for cable or glue, so you may want to use a bit of the cable surround to cover up the glue. It will allow you to use a little more glue too.

If you are just going to re-house your USB (and stop at step 3) then I would suggest going for the smallest connector.

If you are going to connect it to the cable, pick a large connector so that you can get a good strong connection to the cable.

Step 5: Enjoy/Hide/Prank

Now you have what looks to be an iPhone cable, but is actually a storage device.

Use 1 - Secret Storage

Keep stuff hidden - I doubt many people would think to look there for your hidden data! (Unless of course they want to plug in their phone and try to use it!!!!)

Use 2 - Prank Someone

Name the storage drive "iPhone", Fill it with folder names that match that of an iPhone, but instead fill it with blank photos, warped photos, dodgy photos or some type of photo your friend wouldn't like (think phobia or scary)! Then when your friend plugs in their iPhone, they will be surprised/worried by the content, or think they have a virus!

(Just make sure the cable is plugged in to the phone before the computer otherwise it will appear too soon!)

Be sure to read the comments. People have come up with some great ideas for pranks!

April Fools' Contest

Finalist in the
April Fools' Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    14 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 5

    Couldn't you connect the cable to the terminals on the flash drive, so the cable still works as intended?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    you'd need an extremley small usb hub, And those don't exist as of march 31 2016.


    4 years ago

    This is so smart! Thanks for shearing your work :)

    jcano yribarren

    6 years ago on Step 5

    You can create an autorun dummy program to say "Format in progress. Please whait" or something like that


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Haha, I love it. I have a second, beat up cable that this would be perfect for.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Name the storage drive "iPhone", Fill it with folder names that match that of an iPhone, but instead fill it with blank photos, warped photos, dodgy photos or some type of photo your friend wouldn't like (think phobia or scary)! Then when your friend uses it to plug in their iPhone, they will be surprised/worried by the content, or think they have a virus, as it doesnt match what should be on their phone! Alternatively, as someone else suggested, you could put a programe on it that would do something to the victims computer - they would think it is trustworthy at its connected to their own phone.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This could be used to conceal data from search, since a "cable" is not suspected of being a storage device. You could travel with a laptop that has a rather bland setup of Windows on its hard drive, then load up your subversive liveUSB Linux system from the USB storage drive.

    I didn't think of that, but yes, instead of photos you could put programs on there. They will believe its trustworthy as they think its linked to their phone!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is pretty good but you can connect the wires from the cable to the back of the pads to keep a functioning cable.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Do you mean connect to the USB storage pads? I can't see how this would work, as I think you can only run 1 USB at a time when things are spliced, and there is no way to 'turn off' or 'unplug' the storage.