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“Crypto dusting” attack: hackers send ill-gotten bitcoins to random wallets and frame their users

A new type of cyberattack on cryptocurrency wallet users was detected in Bitcoin ecosystem. Dubbed “crypto dusting”, the hack distributes small amounts of “laundered” BTC to random wallets owned by unsuspecting customers. This, in turn, casts a shadow over their reputation and draws attention of law enforcement agencies.

Stolen/laundered/ill-gotten BTC amounts are being sent to randomly picked cryptocurrency accounts, whereas the victims have no means of protecting their wallets from such attacks.

According to reports cited by DarkReading, fraudsters use BestMixer.io and other crypto mixers in order to facilitate anonymous BTC distribution between random addresses.

As stated by Dave Jevans, CEO of blockchain company CipherTrace, the recipients of “dirty money” might only be aware of such transactions through a welcome notification message from BestMixer, contained in their transaction history.

“They’re just putting it in your crypto wallet. When they do a run, they look at the last 75,000 addresses and send to them,” – he specified.

Having received some “bitcoins out of nowhere”, many users may be mislead into thinking of them as of a present. The consequences of such a “present” may be quite sour, however. Firstly, a recipient of “dirty” transaction may be targeted by law enforcers who might start suspecting him in money laundering activities. Secondly, a recipient’s wallet gets “stigmatized” by the services that monitor suspicious transactions within Bitcoin network.

Transaction monitoring protocols are being used by many major cryptocurrency exchanges. Therefore, the wallets targeted by “crypto dusting” are at risk of being blocked by such trading platforms.