Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently received a USB drive that looks like a credit card as a promotion. The drive portion flips out to plug it in. When you plug it in, it opens the run dialog, and opens a URL to an American Express web page.

I was able to find it in the Device Manager:

American Express Drive in Device Manager

But I don't know what else to do? Is there a way I can convert this into a plain old USB drive? Or better yet, can I modify the command that it runs when inserted into a computer?

American Express USB Drive Open

American Express USB Drive Closed

Pretty cool huh!? Kudos to American Express for creating a cool marketing device! (That I can hopefully hack!)

share|improve this question
2  
Very cool - I'll bet the answer is yes. Do you have a picture of the card? –  Jared Harley Apr 17 '10 at 0:50
    
I'll try and add one soon, I thought about it, but was too lazy when I asked the question. Just ate >.< –  John Bubriski Apr 17 '10 at 1:04
2  
haha, favoriteing for picture! –  marcusw Apr 17 '10 at 1:05
    
Added pictures! –  John Bubriski Apr 17 '10 at 1:25
1  
A USB connector does not necessarily indicate presence of a drive. Are you sure it's a drive? –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 17 '10 at 1:42

5 Answers 5

You might be able to reprogram it, if a) it had memory that could be reprogrammed, and b) you knew the protocol to access it. But the truth is probably that it just emulates a keyboard and "pushes" the buttons needed to drive Windows around, without actually having any brains whatsoever.

share|improve this answer
5  
That would explain why it's a Human Interface Device instead of a mass storage (i.e. flash drive) device. –  Wayne Johnston Apr 17 '10 at 2:35
    
So do you think it would be possible to reprogram it without physically cracking it open? –  John Bubriski Apr 17 '10 at 15:52
    
... Maybe? It depends on so many things that you don't know. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 17 '10 at 16:21

Pop open the device properties, and post the device VID and PID (vendorID and partID)

Device Manager -> Properties -> "Details Tab" -> "Device Instance ID" in the dropdown box.

It should be something like:
HID\VID_1532&PID_000D\6&28F03F61&0&0000 (In this case, it's a Razer Mouse)

The VID and PID are (Ideally) unique, so it should let you find who made the usb interface hardware, unless it's a really cheap Chinese product. I'd assume for something like this, the USB interface is going to be integrated into whatever microprocessor they have in there (it's cheaper), so knowing the device make will be a start.

http://www.linux-usb.org/usb.ids Has a pretty extensive list of IDs. If not, google for VID_<number> and see what you get.

(Post it and let us know, too! I'm curious.)

share|improve this answer
    
This is the Device Instance Path is: USB\VID_05AC&PID_020B\5&24741791&0&1 –  John Bubriski Apr 17 '10 at 15:50
1  
Hmmm, 05AC is Apple's VID! Specifically, it's for Pro Keyboard [Mitsumi, A1048/US layout]. Looks like they're spoofing someone else's VID and PID. Short of actually taking the thing apart to get a look at the chip inside, I think you're out of luck. –  Fake Name Apr 17 '10 at 22:57
    
I got one of these too, but mine was VID_05ac and PID_6662. PID 6662 doesn't seem to be mapped anywhere. –  Ryan McGeary May 25 at 2:43

It consists of a Cypress PSoC controller, combined with a 24c02 serial eeprom.

The eeprom contains the data regarding the featured website, whilst the uController takes care of all USB protocols and other communications with the PC. It retrieves the data from the eeprom and sends it to the keyboard buffer of your PC.

With a simple program called PonyProg you can read and modify the contents of the eeprom.

share|improve this answer
1  
Interesting... but would I be able to modify it directly over USB, or would I need to connect to it via other means in order to access the EEPROM? –  John Bubriski Jan 6 '11 at 17:13
    
'simple' ?!!!! ! –  Simon May 20 '14 at 22:45
    
"It consists of a Cypress PSoC controller, combined with a 24c02 serial eeprom." How do we confirm this? –  Ryan McGeary May 25 at 2:41

It could be a USB drive. There are some credit card size drives available like this. The pricing suggests they wouldn't be giving them away though. This one looks just like the one you have with the printing done the opposite way up. Googling MMI 1028FMS will turn up a bunch of sites with exactly the same image and text. None of them have pricing though. I think this might made by Hongkong Dazhihui Electronics.

I think Ignacio is right. This isn't a USB drive, but a cheaper product in the same package.

share|improve this answer

This article looks promising:

Hacking USB Webkeys

The brains of the Webkey is all stuffed into a tiny chip that fits into your USB port. If you pop that chip out of its casing and peel off the glue, you'll get something like this. The part number of this particular Webkey is "WEB-130C".

JJShortcut wrote up a great article describing how to reprogram the EEPROM of a specific Webkey he encountered. My Webkey is a little bit different, so first I’ll go over this same method with a little more detail and specifics with the Webkey I have.

The very first thing you’ll notice on the board is the EEPROM. If you have good eyes (or a magnifying glass) you’ll see that it’s marked “J24C02C” on one line, and “DP1D07” on the next. That’s our target.

share|improve this answer
    
Could you edit your answer to include at least a brief summary of the link? Link only answers don't tell the user very much, and are also no use if the linked page disappears in the future. –  nhinkle May 25 at 4:56
    
This is interesting in itself, but doesn't really answer the question ("can it be repurposed as a USB drive"). I note with interest how dangerous these devices are since people think they are a USB drive when they can actually run code at at least the privilege-level of the logged-in user, and can answer prompts. Turns a convention full of freebies into a potential security issue. –  Yorik May 26 at 17:53

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.