How dangerous is a crypto dusting attack?

What is crypto dust?

Sending dust to multiple wallet addresses. Source: Binance.com

What is a dusting attack?

Incoming Dust Transfer. Source: Exodus.com

Who performs dusting attacks?

  • Criminals intending to de-anonymize users with large crypto holdings. Subsequently, they may target the victims through phishing attacks, cyber-extortion, or even physically (to get a cyber ransom). Dusting can also throw the authorities off their trail as bits of dirty money get dispersed around the crypto space.
  • State authorities (for example, tax authorities or law enforcement) that want to connect an individual or entity to an address. This method may be used to expose smugglers, money launderers, criminal networks, and tax evaders.
  • Blockchain analytics firms that work for the government or study dust for academic purposes.
  • Entities that want to advertise to crypto users. In this case, promotional messages accompany the transactions, so dust is used instead of a mailshot.
  • Developers conducting stress tests. They may check the throughput of a network by quickly sending a massive amount of dust.
  • Spammers that want to clog a network by sending massive batches of sham transactions.

Important note

UTXO as a crucial component of dust attacks

Generation of UTXOs. Source: Medium.com

Connecting multiple addresses

Advertising through dusting

Dusting Attack Involving 547 Satoshis per Address

Signs of a dusting attack

Dust in digital wallets

Phishing attacks or blackmailing

Links to a nefarious site

Malicious link in Transaction Memo. Source: Binance Academy

Dusting attacks: what to do

Conclusion: How serious are dust attacks?

--

--

CoinLoan is a Crypto Lending Platform

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store