Dust Attacks

“Crypto Dust Attack” is a type of cyber attack that targets users of cryptocurrencies. The term “dust” in this context refers to a very small amount of cryptocurrency, often so small that it’s almost negligible. In a dust attack, an attacker sends this “dust” to a large number of addresses, tracking these transactions on the blockchain. The goal of the attacker is to identify which addresses are controlled by the same wallet, thereby compromising the privacy of the wallet owner.

The process of a dust attack can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Address Identification: The attacker identifies a large number of addresses to target. These could be random addresses, or they could be addresses that the attacker suspects are linked to a particular individual or organization.
  2. Dust Distribution: The attacker sends a small amount of cryptocurrency (the “dust”) to each of these addresses. This transaction is recorded on the blockchain.
  3. Address Linkage: By analyzing the blockchain, the attacker can see when the dust is moved. If dust sent to multiple addresses is moved to the same address, the attacker can infer that the original addresses are owned by the same individual or entity.
  4. Behavioral Analysis: The attacker can further analyze the transaction patterns of the linked addresses to gain more information about the owner. For example, they might be able to determine when the owner is most active, or if they regularly transact with certain other addresses.
  5. Potential Exploitation: Once the attacker has gathered enough information, they can use it for malicious purposes. This could include targeted phishing attacks, blackmail, or even physical theft or violence.

It’s important to note that dust attacks are a privacy concern rather than a direct theft of funds. The amount of cryptocurrency sent in a dust attack is usually too small to be of significant value. However, the loss of privacy can be a serious issue, particularly for individuals or organizations that rely on the anonymity provided by certain cryptocurrencies.

To protect against dust attacks, users should be cautious about which addresses they use publicly, and consider using privacy-enhancing technologies or practices, such as using a new address for each transaction, or using a cryptocurrency that provides stronger privacy protections.


  • Moghimi, A., Wichelmann, J., Eisenbarth, T., & Sunar, B. (2017). MemJam: A False Dependency Attack Against Constant-Time Crypto Implementations. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/pdf/1711.08002
  • Aponte-Novoa, F. A., Orozco, A. S., Villanueva-Polanco, R., & Wightman, P. (2021). The 51% Attack on Blockchains: A Mining Behavior Study. Retrieved from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/ielx7/6287639/6514899/09567686.pdf
  • HaasOnline “Crypto Dust Attacks: What is it and how do I prepare?”. https://www.haasonline.com/crypto-dust-attacks/

Pro Upgrade1. 3-Day Free Trial2. Unrestricted Access3.

Try HaasOnline Cloud Pro for 3-days and discover opportunities you've been missing.
Start 3-day free trial ›
1 TradeServer Cloud Pro offers a 3-day trial of our premium subscription.
2 During the 3-day TradeServer Cloud Pro trial you will not be required to pay to access Pro plan features. Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renewal is disabled or if you opt for manual payments.
3 Access to premium features within TradeServer Cloud does not include third-party restrictions or unforeseen issues.