dumpster diving

(redirected from Dumpster-diving)
Also found in: Dictionary.

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 ?
I always looked more like a heavily-armed chimney sweep who just competed in the Convenience Store Dumpster-Diving Semi-Finals.
Currently, with most of our commonly purchased items being made in the third world countries by poor people who are mistreated and grossly underpaid, it makes moral sense to fine-tune our skills in dumpster-diving, garage sale browsing and thrift store shopping.
They aren't engaged in Dumpster-diving and dead-dropping secret documents as much as they once did.
As recently reported by Ameet Sachdev in the Chicago Tribune, contractors hired by a large consumer-products firm were caught in the midst of a six-month Dumpster-diving campaign at a rival's headquarters.
The author of Evasion (it was a 'zine, but has since been expanded and published by an anarchist press) is a straight-edge, vegan, dumpster-diving hobo.
Meanwhile, creatures that benefit from living around people follow them into disturbed areas, including opossums, raccoons, pigeons and dumpster-diving rats.
That eliminated the possibility of telephone research and I'd already ruled out dumpster-diving.
I imagined Kate Moss, the leading waif, sniffing over a sandwich found on the road, or dumpster-diving for pizza crusts.
Whether it's a dumpster-diving cub or a home-invading adult, Searles will be there to answer every panicked call.
I've been treated to dances in Mexico, a wedding reception in Vietnam, a California tutorial in Dumpster-diving.
If films about a Dumpster-diving philosophy student or a Peace Corps volunteer who loses her mind after taking malaria drugs sound intriguing, the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts is the place to be Wednesday.