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.
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dumpster diving

(1) Searching the electronic trash cans (recycle bins) in users' computers for sensitive and private data. See social engineering.

(2) From a cybercrook's point of view, dumpster diving means looking in a physical trash can for paper documents that contain account numbers and passwords.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The author is Tristram Stuart, a British environmentalist, freegan and admitted Dumpster diver.
FIDO, the New York City bike messenger describes himself as a "Reformed pickpocket; unreformed hellion; poker con man; savvy dumpster diver" and UTAH writes: "I'm an organic farmer who is happiest when up to my forearms in dirt.
In late December, a "dumpster diver" took personal information about as many as 100 high-profile athletes from a sports agent's trash.
In this book, he recounts the subsequent field research he performed during this period, while attempting to survive as a Dumpster diver. He discusses the legal and social implications, the experience of scrounging, items found, selling and sharing, the use of found objects for art and specific artworks, and the general problem of consumption and its impact on scrounging.
I was also an incurable pack rat and dumpster diver. During one of my searches for the "good stuff," I managed to obtain some very large, precision tapered-roller bearings.
While Kelly admits there are far easier ways that information is stolen, such as a mole, a dumpster diver, a software bug or feature allowing someone other than the intended user to access a computer, or a disgruntled employee, he said when called on to do a sweep, he finds bugs 10 to 15 percent of the time -- "which isn't to infer that 10 to 15 percent of all lawyers are bugged, just those who suspect it."
And if the company disposes of a computer, the hard drive should be more than just wiped; it should be destroyed completely, which is the only way to ensure that a computer-savvy "dumpster diver" can't retrieve any valuable information.
An individual or business that fails to dispose properly of personal identification information, by shredding or mutilating, could find themselves susceptible to a "dumpster diver"--an individual who retrieves discarded material looking for anything of value.
Last up, and least happily included by the others, is dirt-encrusted dumpster diver Vamenos (Edward James Olmos, unrecognizable until forced into a rigorous scrub-and-shave session).
I'm a dumpster diver. I beg and scrounge art materials anywhere I can find them.
Yet since most victims do not know if their information was accessed through a security breach at a business, an Internet hacker or a dumpster diver, the practical action for consumers is to shred any document containing sensitive information, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego-based consumer advocacy group.
One intelligence expert described the papers as a "terrorist's dream" as the bin is in a known spot for "dumpster divers" -- homeless people hunting food and goods to sell on.