What is Dumpster Diving in Cybersecurity?

What is Dumpster Diving?

Dumpster diving is the practice of exploring garbage for information on a person or company that might be utilized for hacking purposes later. This assault mostly targets major companies or businesses in order to conduct phishing (mainly) by sending victims false emails that look to come from a reputable source.

Identity scams take advantage of information gained by breaching the victim's confidentiality. Dumpster divers search the victim's trash for financial statements, government papers, medical bills, résumés, and other documents. Once obtained, the data is utilized to construct identity profiles, increasing the likelihood of social engineering success. Full, usable credential sets, as well as necessary information for account takeover (ATO), are sometimes found in the garbage.

Dumpster diving may be defended with simple countermeasures such as being vigilant with document destruction. Frequently, a company's trash-removal standards, such as the requirement to utilize a cross-cut shredder, are connected to dumpster-diving prevention or legal compliance. Factory resets and appropriate device disposal are also vital for preventing dumpster diving, like cellphones, computers, and security tokens may be useful to attackers.

A hacker can look out for various details, including −

  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers for phishing
  • Financial statements/bank statements
  • Records of medical care
  • Documents of great importance
  • Login credentials for the account
  • Secrets of the business
  • Secrets of Marketing
  • Employee database information
  • Information about the software/tools/technologies that the firm uses

You're in danger if possible attackers have quick access to discarded material, whether it's in the form of paper documents, electronic data, or hardware or storage media containing sensitive data. Information collected through dumpster diving might be put to a variety of applications by attackers. In a hacking attempt, they might utilize any network or security information directly. For instance, if someone put down their new password in their planner and then threw it away at the end of the year, attackers might use it to breach the network directly.

How You Can Prevent Your Data from Dumpster Diving Attacks?

To safeguard our safety, we may take a number of practical procedures. However, the most crucial stage in the process of guaranteeing safety stays unchanged. It's also to raise awareness among your friends and acquaintances.

  • Dumpster diving's success may be linked back to a lack of security awareness. People would not dump data on a sheet of paper without destroying it if they understood how an attacker might utilize it.

  • Educating your team is the most efficient approach to defend yourself and your company against dumpster diving attacks. Learn to tell the difference between private and public documents.

  • Include disposal management in your overall security strategy for enterprises to offer clear rules on how sensitive data from your garbage may be kept safe. For example, the policy can stipulate that all documents be shredded before being discarded. On the other side, all data must be removed from storage devices.

Now, let's check some of the general guidelines that you can follow to safeguard your data from dumpster diving attacks −

Destroy the Not-in-Use Devices

Waste devices should be destroyed, including CDs and DVDs holding personal data such as images, films, or other sensitive information. When PCs, laptops, mobile phones, or other gear no longer serve a purpose, they must be cleaned and all files erased to avoid future issues.

Firewalls can be used to prevent suspected Internet users from accessing the data that has been destroyed. Paper documents should be shredded or permanently destroyed. Waste containers should be locked, and a secure disposal strategy should be in place.

Lighten Your Dumpsters

Well-lit dumpsters will make scavengers reconsider their nefarious plans. Lights should be set above the rubbish bins so that any dumpster may be detected early. The lights should be placed on the top of the floor, out of reach of the general public.

Install Motion-Sensing Digital Cameras

Motion-sensing cameras may easily identify any intruder, assisting in the monitoring of garbage bins. They should be serviced on a routine basis since if they break down, such an investment will be rendered useless.

Dumpster Fence

Adequate fencing surrounding dumpsters should be in place to prevent any infiltration and ensure dumpster diving safety. It makes no assurances about the dumpster's security. However, the intruder will have a tough time retrieving information from the trash can.

Duplicate Copy Destruction

Duplicate copies of important personal papers should be destroyed properly. It's easy to utilize such copies for illicit purposes, which can lead to a slew of difficulties afterward. It should be verified that no such information is stored that might be exploited by dumpsters in the future.

Outsource the Monitoring Services

Monitoring security services can be outsourced to a variety of service providers. The remote monitoring camera assists their services. They can instantly report any irregularities around the dumpsters to the security authorities if they notice them.