A crypto dust attack refers to a somewhat new vindictive task where hackers or a group of hackers try to interrupt the solitude of cryptocurrency users, by simply redirecting or posting a portion of coins to their wallets.
The debatable activity of these selected user’s wallets is traced by the hackers or attackers, who carry out an integrated analysis of various addresses to eradicate the anonymity of the user or owner of each wallet.
However, for easy understanding, dust is a small-scale amount of tokens or coins. This amount of coins is so small that most users may not even notice them.
A good explanatory example is the smallest unit of a Bitcoin called one satoshi (0.00000001 BTC). So, therefore, a hundred or thousand of this one Satochi called dust.
In cryptocurrency exchange platforms, the dust word is also used for describing tiny amounts of coins stuck on any users’ account thereafter trading arrangements are completed.
Usually, these dust are not tradable or marketable but some platforms still enable its users to convert them to Binance coins (BNB), exchange platforms like Binance.
NB: For some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin there is no exact clarity for its dust because different software clients may assume various thresholds
What is dust limit?
Dust limit is any transaction return lower than the transaction fees or charges.
In addition, dust limits are derived based on the magnitude of inputs and outputs.
This usually adds up to 546 satoshis for unvarying Bitcoin transactions also known as non-Segwit and 294 satoshis for local SegWit transactions.
However, it means any unvarying transaction that is equal to or smaller than 546 satoshis is junk.
NB: These junks in cases are most likely rejected by the confirming nodes or convergence.
Understanding how Crypto dust attack works
Crypto dust attacks were formerly carried out on the Bitcoin network, but presently happening with Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coins (BNB), as well as other cryptocurrencies.
This is attainable majorly because many cryptocurrencies are operating on public blockchain technology and are traceable.
Furthermore, these vindictive stagers recognized that cryptocurrency users pay less attention to the small amounts of coins appearing in their wallet addresses.
After they observed this, the crypto dust attackers began dusting large numbers of addresses by posting a small number of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC).
So, after dusting various wallet addresses, the crypto dust attacker proceeds to the next step.
This step involves a merged analysis of the affected addresses in an attempt to spot which ones are associated with the same crypto wallet.
Finally, the crypto dust attack’s goal or aim is to link the wallets or dusted addresses with their respective users or individuals.
Once the goal is achieved, the attackers may utilize this knowledge against their prey, through complicated phishing attacks or cyber-shakedown threats.
What to do if your wallet gets affected by a crypto dust attack
What you must do if your wallet gets affected is simply to open a new wallet and ensure that the dust is not moved.
Make sure to move all assets that are not yet affected into the new wallet you have created.
This is sometimes the best option and perhaps the only option in some cases of crypto dust attacks.
Three major features to look out for when finding a new wallet
- Ensure it allows spending individual UTXOs or UTXO freezing
- It is non-custodial
- Its private keys import without you moving any funds
A final word to hold on to every time is making sure you pay attention to every small amount of coin in your wallet and how they accumulate.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to blockbuild weekly digest for updates.