According to one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Litecoin users were hit by a large-scale dusting attack on the 9 of August 2019. With this type of attack, hackers try to identify the identity behind some cryptocurrency wallet. Subsequently, the hawkers proceed to send the identified individuals some messages. These messages include more of phishing links. Users who fall into this, therefore, become victims to hawkers.
Binance, which is the largest exchange in terms of volume, announced this ugly incident via a tweet on the 9 of August.
The tweet read “Approximately 5 hours ago there was a large-scale dusting attack on $LTC Litecoin users.”
What is a dusting attack
A dusting attack is a relatively new form of attack that is currently being used by the bad guys to hawk people of their cryptocurrency. In this type of situation, hackers send minimal amounts of money (crypto) called ‘dust’ in no small number of wallets. Because the amounts are so low, most people don’t notice. This means that a small amount of a particular cryptocurrency is sent to a mass number of wallets.
After successfully dispatching the minute amount of crypto the target wallets, the hackers then accurately record the activities of the affected wallets. By following the sent cryptocurrency, in this case, Litecoin (LTC), it is possible to find out whether multiple wallets belong to a single person or company and who the identity behind these wallets is.
As soon as the hackers find out who is behind one or more wallets, they send phishing messages or personalized e-mails to the person in question. In this way, an attempt is made to blackmail the victim to be able to collect money.
How to prevent a dusting attack
This type of attack is difficult to prevent. It is one of the flaws in the concept of cryptocurrency and blockchain. The most considerable risk, therefore, arises because cryptocurrency users are not aware of the best practices and how they can best secure and manage their wallets. It is not yet clear the number of people that fall victims to this, and it is difficult to know the number of persons that finally get scammed.
Dusting attack might be new, but this is not the first time that it is happening. Recall that such alert was raised back in October 2018 by the Samourai wallet developers. They made it clear that some users of their wallet were experiencing what they called a dusting attack. It was this particular attack that led to the real-time alert feature in their wallet known as ‘do not spend.’ With this feature, users were spared from spending that particular fund known as ‘dust.’ This was achieved by only excluding that portion of the funds from all future transactions. The truth is that if the dust is not part of a transaction, the hackers can’t connect their dots, and that leads to a failed analysis.
Dusting Attack: What is a Dust
I have talked about dusting attack, and I just remembered that I did not give a clear definition of what a dust truly is. In my definition, dust refers to the tiny or little amount of a token. These small amounts are often so small that the users might not even notice what is left. A perfect example is the tiny amount of tokens that you have left when you execute a trade on any exchange. In terms of Bitcoin, it may be between 1 Satoshi and a couple of hundreds of Satoshi.
A Satoshi may be defined as the smallest part of Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC)
Whatever you do, endeavor to keep your wallets and private keys secured. Always remember that you are the only one responsible for your security. In cases that your wallet houses all your crypto, then remember to secure it just the way a bank would have secured it.
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