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Dusting Attack

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What Is A Dusting Attack?

A dusting attack is when a little quantity of cryptocurrency, known as dust, is distributed to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of wallet addresses. It is also known as dusting assault.

Deeper Definition

A variety of organizations carries out dusting assaults. Criminals use dusting assaults to de-anonymize people with significant bitcoin holdings. Large-scale investors can be targeted in a variety of methods, including phishing scams and cyber-extortion. Users with substantial crypto holdings in high-risk locations may be physically attacked, or a family member may be abducted for a ransom in bitcoin.

Notably, the individual or organization carrying out the dusting assault and the party analyzing the data do not have to be the same. Because the crypto dust is stored on the blockchain, anybody with the necessary knowledge, equipment, and time may examine it after an assault. A criminal organization may analyze the dusting of a government. A blockchain analytics business could investigate the dusting of a bad actor.

These mass dustings may also be used as stress tests, in which a massive volume of crypto dust is distributed in a short period to assess a network’s throughput (bandwidth). Dustings are also occasionally used to spam a network by sending large batches of useless transactions that clog and slow it down significantly.

It’s more difficult to track you if you use a hierarchical-deterministic (HD) wallet. This generates new addresses each time you deal. You may label dust UTXOs (unspent transaction outputs) as “do not spend” in some wallets. These modest sums are then placed in your wallet. No one can monitor where they go if you never use them. Others exclusively use the Tor Network or a VPN to access the internet.

Dusting Attack Examples

1. Dusting can be employed to defend yourself. Assume a substantial criminal organization receives information that the authorities are closing in on them. In an attempt to throw the police off their track, cyber thieves might dust multiple random wallets with illicit money.

2. A government body, such as a tax or law enforcement agency, may use a dusting attack to link a person or organization to a particular address. They may specifically target drug trafficking groups, huge criminal networks, money launderers, and tax evaders. Blockchain analytics organizations that research crypto dust for academic purposes or have contracts with government agencies also utilize mass dusting.

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