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 ?
Dumpster divers obtain account numbers, addresses, and dates of birth from financial, medical, and personal records--all of which they can use to assume an identity.
Remember that simply tossing this type of mail in the trash makes it easier for dumpster divers to steal your loved one's identity.
The Obama Way: DOJ dumpster divers spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen - (http://t.
ACE USA launched its Data Breach Fund Sidecar program to address the growing potential liability of data breaches due to hackers, lost electronics, dumpster divers and related exposures.
ostensibly follows Seifert and his friends as they make the transition from simple dumpster divers to policy advocates.
There are people that are dumpster divers, who collect what they can and see value in these items," he said.
Then it didn't take much longer for all the family to turn into dumpster divers.
Locks are often used to protect commercial recycling and trash containers from dumpster divers and scavengers, but only recently have they been engineered for residential purposes.
The essays in Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers (University of Oklahoma Press, $19.
Some people dismiss them as dumpster divers or latter-day midgierakers.
Recycleman and the Dumpster Divers - In his superhero costume made of recycled trash, Recycleman captures the attention of kids and adults and gets them excited about recycling.
Says another chronicler of the empire, "All the dumpster divers I have known come to the point of trying to acquire everything they touch (p.