Leading cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has recently upgraded its software to incorporate more privacy & control over crypto transfers to assist prevent ‘dusting attacks’.
A dusting attack is where a malicious actor transfers small amounts of Bitcoin [BTC] to a wallet to interrupt the privacy of users for further attacks in the future.
Ledger Live version 2.11.1 introduces a new feature called Coin Control which provides users the power to regulate transaction settings to incorporate more privacy or optimal fee usage.
Within the recent official announcement, the new feature works via its ability to manage Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallets, or multiple different Bitcoin addresses. Now, users can select the addresses they need to use for transactions using Coin Control rather than the earlier default FIFO [First-in, First-out] method of automatically employing the earlier address.
This indeed prevents 3rd parties from tracking those transactions via tiny amounts of BTC, called dust, that is worth around the transaction fees. This dust is often used to trace the identity of the owners via analysis since these tiny unspent transaction outputs [UTXOs] can accumulate. An outsized scale dusting attack was administered on Litecoin users earlier in August last year.
While adding further, Ledger said that with Coin Control, users can simply prefer to not use the small UTXO, explaining:
“As such, they can’t track any movements. In short: it are often a game changer when it involves your privacy.”
Other features on the software upgrade include optimization of the network fee structure by permitting users to settle on UTXOs with higher value, thus reducing the byte size of the transaction. It also has the power to pick specific addresses for transfers should there be a requirement to ensure payments are separated.
Reddit users applauded the upgrade with one adding;
“This will make dust attacks useless. Also having the power to not include small inputs when fees are high is great. I have been expecting this feature for long. Great!”