Litecoin is a new victim of dusting attacks
The Litecoin network seems to have experienced a dusting attack. Correctly, many LTC addresses received “dust” amounts of LTC in the past few months. There are two of the most significant attacks in August and November, with unusual spikes in the number of transactions and wallet activity.
What is a dusting attack?
Dusting attack is a new type of malicious attack. Hackers and crooks will invade users’ privacy by sending a minimal amount of coins to their cryptocurrency wallets. Dust refers to tiny amounts of coins or tokens. Take Bitcoin as an example; the smallest unit of this currency is one satoshi (0.00000001 BTC). We can consider several hundred satoshis as dust.
In other words, dust is a minimal transaction or in an amount not worth sending. Because they are much smaller than the transaction fee. Most people don’t pay attention to dust in their wallets and rarely worry about its origin. Hackers after dusting will begin tracking those funds, and all transactions of the wallets are covered with dust. They then link to the addresses and can identify the companies or individuals behind the wallet addresses. The first dust attack was made with Bitcoin. But they are also happening with other cryptocurrencies.
Dusting attack is targeting Litecoin
Looking at the Litecoin trading chart, it can be seen that the number of transactions spikes each week. Transactions are not constant and may spike due to other factors, including market price increases.
Things became more evident when Franklyn Richards, a product developer who has worked on Bitcoin and Litecoin since 2013, analyzed the chart of activity addresses. Over the past three months, many addresses have suddenly operated steadily. On some random days of the week, the heightened address activity does not translate into more transactions.
You may think this is a coincidence. For example, addresses have set the process of automating the remittance process. However, Richards pointed out miners deciding to limit the spread of dust transactions to disable the attacks.
“On average the network typically sees around 40,000 active addresses per day, however, according to data from Bitinfocharts, every 7 days this value is spiking to over 70,000 before abruptly dropping back down. This has resulted in an almost sawtooth-like pattern that’s pretty evident given a cursory glance.”
Previously, in August 2019, Binance also confirmed a significant attack on Litecoin (LTC) users.
One of many transactions: https://t.co/zgk9gPRNcU
Here’s what you need to know and how to protect yourself:https://t.co/KNVoQLwBUb
— Binance (@binance) August 10, 2019
The tweet mentions a specific transaction. In particular, the Binance was also a victim of the attack; the transaction sent an amount (0.00000546 LTC) to 50 wallet addresses. Through this attack, hackers will track the transaction activity of that wallet address. By analyzing the data, the attacker will try to determine who owns the wallet address above.
LTC mining has slowed down since Litecoin halving took place
Besides the dusting attack issue, the Litecoin network is also facing a slowing mining activity. The Litecoin network is currently operating 70% slower than the peaks in July and August. After halving, the LTC price has hardly increased but decreased by about 60% of the value.
— Vincent (@Vincent45171619) December 15, 2019
Litecoin has not been used in any large-scale cryptocurrency lending program. To date, no largest Ponzis has ever collected LTC. But the property counts as one of the conventional currencies used for darknet activity.
LTC has so far not been stolen from large-scale exchanges. However, most market operators have increased the number of validations needed to avoid a spending attack doubling 51%. The best approach to dust attacks is to monitor your wallet and prevent dust spending with other coins.
Not spending dust means that the address cannot be mapped and cannot be associated with another digital identity. LTC remains anonymous, although the MimbleWimble network is developing a cover system.
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