Definition

dumpster diving

Dumpster diving is looking for treasure in someone else's trash. (A dumpster is a large trash container.) In the world of information technology, dumpster diving is a technique used to retrieve information that could be used to carry out an attack on a computer network. Dumpster diving isn't limited to searching through the trash for obvious treasures like access codes or passwords written down on sticky notes. Seemingly innocent information like a phone list, calendar, or organizational chart can be used to assist an attacker using social engineering techniques to gain access to the network. To prevent dumpster divers from learning anything valuable from your trash, experts recommend that your company establish a disposal policy where all paper, including print-outs, is shredded in a cross-cut shredder before being recycled, all storage media is erased, and all staff is educated about the danger of untracked trash.

This was last updated in September 2005

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