Although blockchain technology is believed to be secure because of its cryptographic system, the truth is that various security issues have entered the market. A suspicious but common security problem is the dust attack. It’s a kind of invasive red hat strategy to identify cryptocurrency wallets and their owners.
What is a dust attack?
A dust attack is an offensive method used to invade the privacy of cryptocurrency users by sending small amounts of cryptocurrency to their wallets. The amount of tokens sent is so small that they are barely noticeable.
From Bitcoin’s perspective, any amount that is defined as a satoshi (1 sat = 0.00000001 BTC) is considered dust. Receiving a few sats to a few hundred sats means that you are the victim of a dust attack.
Note that not all dust is the product of a dust attack. When trading or exchanging tokens, it is common practice to leave behind the smallest value of a token after the transaction is executed. So if you find crypto dust from a recently traded token, it is more of a by-product of a transaction than an attack.
Fortunately, most exchanges have the option to convert. Since dust cannot be traded with exchanges requiring a minimum swap size, powder conversion is the easiest way to get rid of small balances.
The dust is imperceptible and cannot be traded. Nefarious actors take advantage of this fact by sending dust to different users. In this way, it is possible to trace a person’s identity. It usually does this by finding small details relevant to the target’s identity or using the original information to blackmail and blackmail users.
How concerning are dusting attacks?
Dust attacks are not that severe. Instead of experiencing a technical vulnerability where your assets could be stolen instantly, in the event of a dust attack, you are the target of your action so it will not affect you as long as you know what’s happening. There are far worse security threats like crypto-jacking and the 51% attack, than a person knowing your identity. As long as you don’t believe the other person has any kind of power, you are safe to trade.