What is a Dust attack ?
As we all know that Bitcoin is an open and decentralized network so anyone can join the network and create a wallet without providing any kind of personal information. This is what makes the bitcoin network somewhat anonymous but not completely anonymous. Although it is pretty hard to find out the identity behind every address, All the bitcoin transactions are publicly recorded on the blockchain and are open for anyone to see and read. This is the reason why bitcoin is not considered as completely anonymous but a pseudonymous cryptocurrency and is therefore susceptible to dust attacks.
Dust attack is a method used to analyze the blockchain transactions and de-anonymize the users. It is basically done to break the privacy of the crypto users by sending dust transactions. In a nutshell, dust is a very negligible and small amount that users don’t even notice in their wallets. If you want to know more about the dust click here.
Working of Dust Attack
As we know each cryptocurrency wallet contains several addresses. The attacker sends a small amount of cryptocurrency or dust to these different wallet addresses to track down the funds and perform analysis to find out which address belongs to the same wallet. The attacker’s main intention here is to link the wallet address to a user or a big financial institution/company.
After the attacker finds out to whom the funds actually belong, he may perform phishing attacks or any cybercrime. Sometimes dust attack is also performed by the government authorities to track down cryptocurrency users and detect illegal activities if there are any.
How to protect yourself from dust attacks?
The best way to get rid of these dust attacks is to just not move the dust funds you receive. If the funds are not moved then the attackers will not be able to make the analysis and de-anonymize the users because attackers always have to do the combined analysis of all wallet addresses to track and de-anonymize the users.
if you are using wallets like metamask, trustwallet, etc to send/receive crypto, it is always advised to use different wallet addresses in order to protect yourself from the dust attacks. If you want to know more about Metamask or TrustWallet click here.