Your IP Your Status

Dumpster Diving Attack

Definition of Dumpster Diving Attack

Dumpster diving, in the context of information security, refers to the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find information that can be used in an attack on a computer network or for identity theft. This type of attack leverages the carelessness with which individuals or organizations dispose of sensitive documents. The recovered information, such as confidential papers, receipts, letters, or other materials containing personal or corporate data, can be exploited by attackers for malicious purposes.

Origin of Dumpster Diving Attack

The practice of dumpster diving for information predates the digital age. It has its roots in traditional espionage and corporate intelligence tactics. In the context of cyber security, dumpster diving became a recognized threat as organizations began to understand the importance of data, both in physical and digital formats. With the growth of identity theft and corporate espionage in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, dumpster diving gained recognition as a simple yet effective technique for gathering valuable information.

Practical Application of Dumpster Diving Attack

A practical example of a dumpster diving attack could involve an attacker targeting a specific company. The attacker sifts through the company's waste, looking for documents that contain sensitive information like login credentials, business plans, employee personal information, or customer data. This information can then be used to gain unauthorized access to corporate networks, for identity theft, or as a part of a larger social engineering attack.

Benefits of Dumpster Diving Attack

From an ethical standpoint, there are no "benefits" to conducting dumpster diving attacks, as they are intrusive and illegal. However, understanding this type of attack is crucial for both individuals and organizations. Awareness of the risks associated with careless disposal of sensitive information can lead to better document management and destruction policies. This includes shredding documents, secure disposal methods, and increased vigilance in handling sensitive information.


Implement secure document disposal practices, such as shredding sensitive papers before disposal. Educate employees about the importance of safeguarding all forms of sensitive data.

No, individuals and small businesses are also at risk. Any entity that handles sensitive information can be a target.

Yes, dumpster diving can lead to legal consequences, especially if it involves trespassing on private property or if the information obtained is used for illegal activities. Laws vary by region, so it's important to understand local regulations.


Time to Step up Your Digital Protection

The 2-Year Plan Is Now
Available for only /mo

undefined 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee