These threats that could swarm in the metaverse

These threats that could swarm in the metaverse

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While the actual metaverse isn’t here yet, Trend Micro has already identified its dangers. In a report titled “Metaverse or Metaworse? Cybersecurity Threats Against the Internet of Experiences,” the cybersecurity firm lists how cybercriminals could exploit the metaverse for their malicious activities.

Fraud, Harassment and Persecution

Many of the dangers mentioned by Trend Micro are not new and are somewhat of an extension in the metaverse of existing threats. Thus, the study contains a long section on the risks related to data protection. Large tech groups will not hesitate to monetize user data. According to Trend Micro, in the metaverse, surveillance will be ubiquitous.

Financial fraud is also expected to increase in the metaverse. A phenomenon favored by the fact that the financial market of immersive worlds is still insufficiently regulated. Criminals could take advantage of this by manipulating the market in a targeted way, claims the cybersecurity firm.

Another category of dangers identified relates to sexual harassment. Users will indeed interact in the form of characters that seem real (Trend Micro speaks here of cyberphysical presence). Crimes such as sexual harassment, romance scams or bullying should therefore affect the victims emotionally and psychically in the same way as if they were committed in the physical world. These crimes are further facilitated by the fact that one can take on as many identities as one wants in the metaverse.

Dangers to industrial systems, art business and more

In another section of the study, Trend Micro explains how the dangers could relate to sectors like manufacturing, for example. Employees operating machines through the metaverse should beware. Because criminals could break into data traffic through a man-in-the-middle attack and take control of physical equipment. They could also use this access to prepare attacks in the physical world.

People who engage in the virtual trade of works of art – especially with NFTs – should also be on their guard. Access to a virtual work of art could be lost if the NFT files are damaged, for example during a ransomware attack, says Trend Micro. Trade in fake artwork could also be a problem.

Trend Micro also warns against attacks on hardware components of the metaverse ecosystem. Cybercriminals could, for example, manipulate virtual reality glasses or body suits, trigger malfunctions and, in the worst case, injure users.

Finally, the cybersecurity specialist describes how the dark web will also be available in the metaverse. In what Trend Micro calls the “Darkverse,” criminals could conduct their business in specially protected areas that law enforcement won’t have access to. “As more and more companies are investing in hardware and software for the metaverse – now is the time to ensure that security is fully considered in the development and production of these technologies,” say the authors. of the report as a conclusion.

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