Dusting Attacks Threatening Anonymity of BTC Wallets
Samourai Wallet has announced through the company’s Twitter account that users need to be vigilant of a possible dusting attack. The team sees themselves as activists for privacy. They are dedicated to continuing privacy in BTC transactions as they strive to design the most private BTC wallet.
Dusting attacks happen when malicious software sends a few satoshis to various addresses. The amount that is sent is quite insignificant it’s called dust.
Wallets that contain dust and start making more transactions are vulnerable to the attackers, as they are then able to inspect the funds within the blockchain. By joining the data from the transactions of multiple addresses, the attackers can link these addresses to each other and by doing so they are able to recognize the source of each address and who it belongs to, whether individuals or companies.
To try and ease this issue and make sure users remain anonymous on the system, Samourai Wallet advises the owners of wallets to initiate the coin control option, which gives users more control over how their bitcoins are spent when a transaction takes place. In effect, users are able to choose the addresses on which they will send their bitcoins as well as which ones to be used from the received coins.
Keeping Digital Information Anonymous
The problem is anyone within the system can be a target of dust attacks. When you own a BTC wallet that just received a few bitcoins, your anonymity of the networks could be jeopardized. As we advance in digital technology, the fact that our personal and financial data remains anonymous online will be very crucial in the future, because a lot can be known about someone through their wealth or spending patterns.
The issue remains with how every purchase we make by using credit cards is actually closely observed by the government, while payment apps such as Venmo reveal by default publicly every user’s transaction history.
BTC has provided the freedom of online transactions while no relying on third parties. However, its abrupt nature leaves no room for full privacy for financial transactions, as they can be easily traced or linked to certain companies or individuals by using chain analysis methods. It has already been reported that BitFury was able to remove anonymity from 15% of the BTC network.
Considering one of the most significant aspects of digital currencies is their anonymity, it is crucial that investors be extra careful against such attacks.