Less than a week after the halving event for litecoin, LTC wallet users have been experiencing a large-scale dusting attack that may have implications for the currency. Binance looked into what it is, and how users can protect themselves.
Over the weekend, reports began emerging that litecoin wallets were under siege by a new form of cyber-attack being referred to as “dusting.” The team at Binance was one of the first to alert LTC users to the attack, in addition to drawing attention to the method that attackers are using to go after litecoin wallets.
Binance claimed that a “large-scale” dusting attack had occurred against LTC users on Aug. 9, in addition to providing a link for an example transaction.
Approximately 5 hours ago there was a large-scale dusting attack on $LTC @Litecoin users. One of many transactions: https://t.co/zgk9gPRNcUHere's what you need to know and how to protect yourself:https://t.co/KNVoQLwBUb— Binance (@binance) August 10, 2019
According to the report published by Binance, dusting attacks are a “relatively new” and “malicious” form of cyber-activity where hackers attempt to gain access to the funds of cryptocurrency users. The scam involves sending tiny amounts of coins to their personal wallets.
The transactional activity of the wallets is then tracked by the attackers, who perform a series of analyses on several addresses to identify the person or organization behind the wallet.
‘Dust’ has been used in the past to refer to minuscule amounts of cryptocurrency and has typically been a term applied on exchanges to the rounded-off amounts following transactions. However, hackers have found a way to leverage the micro-transaction capability of cryptocurrencies such as litecoin in an effort to gain access to user wallets.
Binance claims that hackers are relying upon the ignorance or nonchalance of users towards dust to run their scheme,
Scammers recently realized that cryptocurrency users do not pay much attention to these tiny amounts showing up in their wallets, so they began "dusting" a large number of addresses by sending a few satoshis to them.
The report continues,
The goal is to eventually be able to link the dusted addresses and wallets to their respective companies or individuals. If successful, the attackers may use this knowledge against their targets, either through elaborated phishing attacks or cyber-extortion threats.
While dusting attacks were first initiated on bitcoin, hackers have broadened their scope to incorporate other cryptocurrencies such as litecoin.
Despite the large-scale attack occurring against LTC wallets, the market for litecoin has largely been unchanged. While cryptocurrency prices appear to be undergoing a minor correction after their rally last week, the price of LTC has not suffered in response to the ongoing dusting cyberattack.