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 ?
He and his wife live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and filmed themselves living on discarded and culled food for six months for their documentary "Just Eat It.'' They did their share of Dumpster diving -- heading to unlocked bins of wholesalers for the best finds -- and they came up with some treasures: cartons of eggs with plenty of time left on expiration, boxes of pricey chocolate bars tossed because they did not have the requisite English-French labeling required in Canada, and a mountain of packaged hummus still in containers but perfectly edible.
Dumpster diving for food and clothing, the thrifty group also earns a living washing dishes and working on a co-op farm.
Horowitz called his Dumpster diving "Mike's Redistribution Services," and said he worked 31 hours a week collecting, cleaning and distributing items he found in the trash, which is detailed in a narrative Horowitz wrote about his activities.
A SPOT of "dumpster diving" led to the burglary of a house as three scavengers rooted through bins in a Teesside alleyway.
He suggested that the practice of dumpster diving had to be treated as a theft and Bulgaria had to introduce penalties, following the example of other EU countries.
A Tennessee can collector is being recognized for dumpster diving etiquette.
Older and simpler techniques, such as "dumpster diving," "shoulder-surfing" (watching or listening from a nearby location) still work and have morphed into newer high-tech approaches, such as mass data breaches at financial and government institutions, places you have historically entrusted with your personal data.
After a quick meal, he is back to work, heading out to help manage his cooperative members in another night of dumpster diving.
"What started out as a day of dumpster diving [to find and categorize waste] is now a successful program, and a real achievement."
You will catch more, and your hands won't smell like you've been dumpster diving behind the bait store.
can be linked to a recent wave of documentaries about garbage, including feature-length works like Garbage Dreams (2009) and Wasteland (2010), and several short videos available online, including Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (2005), and numerous documentaries about dumpster diving and Freeganism--a term coined to describe alternative lifestyles based upon limited participation in the consumer economy.