2020-09-20

USB "rubber ducky" with mouse input

Perhaps you're familiar with a type of device commonly referred to as a USB rubber ducky. It's a seemingly innocent device that looks like a regular USB drive, but when connected to a computer, it acts as a USB keyboard and sends malicious keystrokes to the victim's machine, as if a human typed them (but faster). The commands sent can download some unwanted software or open a reverse shell and do nasty stuff in general.

So I thought why stop at keyboard, why not also pretend to be a mouse, launch Paint and draw something funny:

The main challenge here is that a regular mouse doesn't really know where the cursor is on the screen. It only sends relative position changes like "move the cursor 7 units to the right and 2 units down". Depending on the sensitivity setting on the user's system, it might correspond to a different distance in pixels. When you add mouse acceleration into the mix, it's not really practical to try and guess where the cursor will end up being.

But, as is turns out, the mouse HID protocol also allows for absolute cursor positioning and all the major desktop operating systems support this mode (perhaps because touchscreens and graphics tablets use it?). With that knowledge, the task becomes easy, as we can just say "move the cursor to position X, Y".

I used a Digispark with a modified version of Adafruit's TrinketHidCombo library for the demo above. Here's the Arduino code.

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