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dumpster diving

dumpster diving: /dump'-ster di:'-ving/ n. 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 organize 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 favorite
   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.