Dumpster Diving

What Does Dumpster Diving Mean?

In the IT world, dumpster diving refers to using various methods to get information about a technology user. In general, dumpster diving involves searching through trash or garbage looking for something useful. This is often done to uncover useful information that may help an individual get access to a particular network. So, while the term can literally refer to looking through trash, it is used more often in the context of any method (especially physical methods) by which a hacker might look for information about a computer network.

Advertisements

Techopedia Explains Dumpster Diving

In many cases, dumpster diving involves getting data about a user in order to impersonate that user and gain access to his or her user profiles or other restricted areas of the Internet or a local network. Dumpster diving can mean looking through physical trash for such information, or searching discarded digital data. In either case, security experts warn users to leave a clean trail to prevent identity theft and avoid other consequences that can stem from a successful dumpster diving operation.

Businesses and other large entities have developed practical ways to discourage dumpster diving, such as shredding paperwork and locking waste bins. Other security measures include the use of firewalls and other precautions to stop dumpster divers from getting access to discarded or loose data, such as ensuring that data is wiped off of old hard drives and destroying old storage media.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…