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What is a dust attack and how do I manage it?
What is a dust attack and how do I manage it?

Information on dust attacks - how to know if you've been affected, and the steps you can take to limit any impact in your Exodus wallet.

Updated over a week ago

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Everything you need to know about dust attacks - how to know if you've been affected, and the steps you can take to limit any impact.

In this article:

What is a dust attack?

Dust refers to small amounts of crypto you find left over in your wallet after making transactions. A dust attack is when an attacker sends small amounts of crypto to multiple addresses.

With dust attacks, the attacker's goal is typically one of two things:

  1. For account-based assets, the dust transaction might include malicious links leading to malware, phishing sites, or advertisements in the transaction details.

  2. For UTXO-based assets, an attacker might send dust to an address to try and reveal the other addresses the owner has by analyzing the movement of the dust.

What does a dust attack look like?

If you have received a small unexpected deposit of crypto to your wallet from an unknown sender, you may have been dusted. In your Exodus wallet, these will appear as a very small received transaction.



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What do I do if I receive a dust attack?

If you have received a small amount of crypto from an unknown sender and suspect that it is a dust attack, following some general rules can keep you secure.

What do I do if I receive a dust attack at my account-based address?

If one of your account-based addresses (such as Ethereum, or an EVM-compatible network address), receives a dust attack, the attacker might have attached malicious links in the transaction details.

If you receive a dust attack, you can avoid potential harm by ignoring the transaction. Never click or open any links, and do not interact with the transaction details, tokens, or addresses associated with the transaction.

What do I do if I receive a dust attack at my UTXO-based address?

UTXO-based assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE) use change addresses. When you spend or send UTXO-based assets, individual UTXOs may be combined in the transaction.

Receiving dust to one of your addresses does not reveal your ownership of that address or give the attacker access to any funds there. However, the dust will mix with your other addresses if you send a new transaction without taking precautions. In this way, an attacker can begin to analyze the movement of the dust in an attempt to identify your other wallets and addresses.

If you want to avoid this, you will need to isolate the dust so that you don't move it when sending your funds to a new wallet. At the moment, Exodus does not support sending or freezing individual UTXOs, so you will need to import your private key into a wallet that does.

Isolating dust is an advanced process requiring a third-party wallet and handling your private keys. Contact Exodus Support to receive more information and guidance if you want to isolate your dust.

Be very careful with your private keys, because they control access to your funds. Never share them with anyone, and only import them into platforms that you trust 100%. If you choose to import your private keys into a third-party platform, you do so at your own risk. To find out more, check out this article from our Knowledge Base: How do I keep my money safe?

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