As the metaverse progresses and the distinction between cyber presence within the metaverse and today’s “real life” becomes less clear, the potential for malicious actors to carry out various criminal activities may increase.
A growing issue now concerns cyber-physical security where digitally connected assets may be used to create physical acts of crime and terrorism, such as the Colonial Pipeline, Stuxnet, etc. Please think about it.
In the Metaverse, such crimes are easier to carry out and can be carried out on a much larger scale.
As these threats become more concrete, governments and international law enforcement agencies are working on plans to not only “crack down” on the Metaverse, but to use virtual worlds to train law enforcement agencies.
The role of government and regulatory bodies
Viakoo CEO Bud Broomhead said:
He points to efforts by the US government to establish mandates and provide information over the past few years. CISA Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalogas an indicator, there will generally be more involvement by governments to prevent cybercrime.
“International regulation should focus on the metaverse’s potential to become a place to carry out crimes on a large transnational scale,” Bloomhead says.
Gartner Director Analyst Tuong Nguyen said governments and regulators need to understand the implications of an increasingly digital world to implement effective regulation and appropriate guidance.
“Other than this, it’s mostly a political issue,” he says. “How is cybercrime handled today? If you committed a crime in country A, lived in country B, and all digital assets and transactions for the crime were hosted in country C, who had jurisdiction?” and why?”
From his perspective, this is an example of how the topic of crime in the metaverse needs to be treated.
“In reality, they were problems that existed before the Metaverse, and will only become more prevalent and worse in the Metaverse era,” he says.
Any metaverse threat
Nguyen said the risks of cybercrime in the Metaverse are very similar to those on the internet and digital sphere in general today.
“This problem will persist as we face an unprecedented amount and degree of exposure and interaction with digital content,” he says. “This includes crimes related to fraud, data manipulation and stalking.”
For example, today you may have an identity associated with your e-mail account, which is one of many accounts on the Internet.
The idea is that as we move into the metaverse era, many of these accounts (identities) will be harmonized and managed more effectively.
“The upside is that it provides a more personalized experience. The downside is potential scams that target your ‘main’ account, persona, avatar, or whatever you call it,” Nguyen said. says.
He points out that individual companies have similar responsibilities as they do today, but with greater volumes of personal data, the risks are proportionately higher. We need to understand the roadmap, which is the metaverse, to adapt to ,” he says. “Like they had to do with the Internet.”
Coalfire vice president Andrew Barratt said the key question is what must be done to ensure that forensic evidence can be retained or obtained by law enforcement.
“It’s well known that in-game voice chat is often used by criminals for organization and communication because it doesn’t fit into any of the traditional windows of communication,” he explains.
He says that if someone is committing a crime in the Metaverse, law enforcement must ensure that evidence is collected and made available in jurisdictions where appropriate authorities apply.
“My suspicion is that cybercriminals will continue to operate as they do today, and the only target for using the metaverse is whether or not they can extract anything of value,” Barratt said.
Use the metaverse for training
Broomhead points out that the Metaverse is already being used for training such as what to do in active shooter situations, and has proven more effective than other forms of training. .
“Similarly, the Metaverse could be used more broadly for cybersecurity awareness training,” he says. “Using policing can be a very powerful tool for simulating, modeling and evaluating potential threats, much faster and more thoroughly than current approaches.”
In this way, “black swan” type events can be significantly reduced by assessing and determining even the most unlikely circumstances of the potential impact of cybercrime.
Interpol Executive Director Jürgen Stock recently said the global law enforcement agency was investigating ways to crack down on crime in the Metaverse. This would include training agents in virtual worlds.
“This is the beginning,” says Nguyen. “We hope to see more organizations looking at broader aspects of the metaverse than just VR. We are missing out on potential gains.”
For example, how can collaborative (multi-sourced) information help police work better?
“Maybe different sensors and sensing data in the environment, or near real-time video and content of the environment, will give the police a holistic view of the situation, so they can make better informed decisions.” says Nguyen.
What to read next:
How to deal with Metaverse cyberthreats
How CIOs are preparing their enterprises for the metaverse
10 ways IT can prepare for the metaverse