Litecoin suffers a “dusting attack”
The attack reportedly took place at the end of last week
Last Thursday, the Litecoin (LTC) cryptocurrency may have come under what’s known as a “dusting attack,” a newer type of threat that sees hackers and scammers attempt to break the privacy of a digital currency by transacting a large number of small amounts of coins and sending them to different wallets. While there has not been any official verification, the attack is still a threat that has to be taken seriously.
The Binance exchange was the first to point out the apparent attack, stating on Twitter, “Approximately 5 hours ago there was a large-scale dusting attack on $LTC @Litecoin users.” The tweet gives a link to a transaction as proof, indicating that a fraction of LTC had been sent to 50 different addresses.
Who may have initiated the attack isn’t known, but there is a methodical plan behind dusting attacks. By sending what amounts to almost nothing in terms of money (this LTC attack only spent $0.00047), the perpetrators can potentially track the transactional activity and attempt to decipher who could control the wallet addresses. This would be one method that law enforcement or even the IRS could use to try to link real individuals with crypto funds.
While those two options may not necessarily be negative – they could help provide better oversight of the crypto ecosystem – dusting can also be used for nefarious purposes. If a black-hat hacker attempts to determine who is behind certain addresses, and succeeds, they can also learn how to decipher crypto addresses. Once this is accomplished, addresses can be explored to see which hold larger amounts of currency. With this information in hand, coupled with the identity of the individual behind the wallet, it becomes substantially easier to compromise wallets and steal funds.