The great advantage that cryptocurrencies offer over any other type of money or financial asset is their security. Well, once a transaction has been executed and included in the Blockchain, it is impossible for anyone to manipulate the records. However, this does not mean that there are no cyber attacks that could break our security in the crypto world. For this reason, today we will talk about Dusting attacks in Bitcoin and how to prevent against them.
What is a Dusting Attack?
Despite the great security that the crypto world offers to our transactions. The truth is that the world of cryptocurrencies is not immune to cyber attacks. In fact, from time to time news about attacks against exchanges with low levels of security usually comes to light. Which allows hackers to enter your system and steal money from its users.
One of these risks is Dusting attacks, a relatively new type of cyber attack within the crypto world. They are intended not to steal the user’s cryptocurrencies. But break with the privacy that Bitcoin offers to those who use its Blockchain. In order to find out the true identity of the people behind the BTC addresses.
Thus, Dusting consists of sending a small amount of tokens, (known as dust due to its small size) from a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to the target address. Subsequently tracking the route followed by this transaction, in order to obtain the identity of the person or organization behind the BTC address.
In the case of Bitcoin, the smallest amount currently in existence is 1 Satoshi or 0.00000001 BTC. Hackers use such small numbers, as over time they have noticed that the owners of Bitcoin addresses do not usually pay much attention to sending money of this type. So they can carry out the Dusting attack without the user even noticing it.
How to protect ourselves from a Bitcoin attack
Of course, the risk of a Dusting attack is not just that our identity is discovered. Rather, it can be used by cybercriminals to carry out more complicated Phishing attacks, which can end in robberies or extortion against the owners of Bitcoin’s addresses.
Luckily, and since there were a series of Dusting attacks against users of the Samourai wallet in 2018, more has been learned about these types of attacks. Including methods to protect ourselves from them. Well, since they carry out a series of complicated operations to track the “dust” funds they send us. If we don’t use those bitcoins there will be no way to trace our identity.
Thus, the best security recommendation that can be made to avoid Dusting attacks is to be aware of the money sent to us. And if we identify any as a Dusting attack, it is important not to mobilize that money.
Also taking advantage of options such as those offered by wallets such as Samourai, which can mark these funds as suspicious and freeze them by the user. Thus preventing our identity from being known by cybercriminals.