Litecoin (LTC) Addresses Hit with Dusting Attack

Sending fractions of LTC allows third parties to map out wallets and addresses, eventually breaking the anonymity of the network.

A dusting attack has been noticed on the Litecoin (LTC) network, potentially allowing third parties to map out wallets and addresses. Dusting attacks have also been pointed against Bitcoin (BTC) holders.

https://twitter.com/SamouraiWallet/status/1055345822076936192

While the dusting attack is a relatively old threat, targeting the Litecoin network specifically shows it is also considered a valuable asset. LTC is used in multiple transfers between exchanges, potentially linking wallets to exchange accounts.

The way to make a dusting attack meaningless for the sender is to never spend the funds received. Various wallets offer a “do not spend” option. If the dust sent is never moved, it cannot link the initial address to others. The other option is to generate an entirely new wallet.

The dusting attack is easily seen in the statistics for the Litecoin network, revealing a brief spike in wallet activity around August 9. As much as 300,000 individual wallets have been affected, though it is unknown how many real-world users they belong to.

Usually, blockchains like Litecoin or Bitcoin allow analysts to track at least some known transactions, especially when they originate from exchange hacks. But dusting allows the attacker to view interactions between lesser-known wallets.

The Litecoin network attracted attention after the recent halving of the block reward on August 5. Based on observations, the dusting attack happened a few days later. Currently, the Litecoin network sees its mining activity dipping, down to 318 TH/s, from a recent peak above 523 TH/s.

The dusting attack had no other effects, as LTC was moving by its own market logic. LTC currently trades around $73.41, down around 50% from its 2019 peak at $140. Despite the recent downturn, the coin is extremely active, trading at above $2.7 billion’s equivalent. LTC is one of the most liquid assets, receiving inflows from BTC and Tether (USDT). Despite the depressed price, the asset is important within the crypto ecosystem.

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