dumpster diving

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dumpster diving

/dump'-ster di:'-ving/ 1. The practice of sifting refuse from an office or technical installation to extract confidential data, especially security-compromising information ("dumpster" is an Americanism for what is elsewhere called a "skip"). Back in AT&T's monopoly days, before paper shredders became common office equipment, phone phreaks (see phreaking) used to organise regular dumpster runs against phone company plants and offices. Discarded and damaged copies of AT&T internal manuals taught them much. The technique is still rumored to be a favourite of crackers operating against careless targets.

2. The practice of raiding the dumpsters behind buildings where producers and/or consumers of high-tech equipment are located, with the expectation (usually justified) of finding discarded but still-valuable equipment to be nursed back to health in some hacker's den. Experienced dumpster-divers not infrequently accumulate basements full of moldering (but still potentially useful) cruft.

dumpster diving

From the IT perspective, it refers to looking in a physical trash can for paper documents that contain account numbers and passwords. It also refers to searching the electronic trash cans and recycle bins in users' computers for sensitive and private data. See social engineering.
References in periodicals archive ?
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REGARDING The ECHO's Be A Binner Not A Sinner campaign: My wife and I went to the Pier Head to see the Ark Royal.
CONGRATULATIONS on your campaign 'Be A Binner Not A Sinner'.
James Kumpel - Managing Director, Healthcare Services -- Alex Rygiel - Managing Director, Electrical Products, Engineering & Construction and Specialty Contracting -- Wilkes Graham - Senior Vice President, Office & Diversified REITs and Real Estate Operating Companies -- Randy Binner - Vice President, Life & Property/Casualty Insurance -- Brian Butler - Vice President, Environmental Services, Homeland Security and Staffing Services -- Ian Fleischer - Vice President, Capital Goods -- Steve Stelmach - Vice President, Financial Guaranty -- John Stilmar - Vice President, Specialty Finance
Last October the group explained its aims to an audience of key city centre figures and in an update today he outlined the group's achievements and praised the ECHO's "be a binner, not a sinner" campaign.
Contact: Chris Binner of Vertex, +1-610-640-4200, ext.
LITTER-BUGGED travel writer Bill Bryson today backed the Liverpool Echo's "Be a Binner, not a Sinner" campaign.
Most of our readers gave their support to the "Be a Binner, not a Sinner" initiative which aimed to help rid Liverpool of its "festival of litter" label.