The Threats and Challenges of the Metaverse  – GNET

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    Since its founding, Terrorists are using the internet and social media platforms To disseminate propaganda, communicate, agitate, recruit, train, raise funds for activities, and coordinate offensive and online attacks. Today, with the advent of the Metaverse, new opportunities have opened up. terrorist actor. this insight Consider some of the potential uses of the metaverse. Detect terrorists and suggest preemptive measures to minimize potential risks. It discusses the emergence of the Metaverse and identifies six potential uses of him by terrorists. Planning and coordinating attacks. virtual training. Spread false information. Financing terrorism and financial attacks. We then provide potential solutions to mitigate these risks.

    Emergence of the “Metaverse”

    term Metaverse”, Combining “meta” and “Universe”, First introduced in a 1992 science fiction novel snow crash. theyetaverse represents the fusion of physical and virtual worlds in the digital realm through 3D technology and online communication devices such as computers and smartphones. Large companies are drawn to the metaverse for several reasons: tThe cutting edge of digital and technological development. In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg will his future vision: “In the Metaverse, you can get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Let’s think about computers and phones today.” Zuckerberg also announced a $50 million investment in partnerships with other companies to advance Metaverse concepts and technology.

    other big technology company Companies like Google, Microsoft, and NVIDIA started investing in Metaverse development, along with low-tech giants like Nike, Walmart, Adidas, and PepsiCo. is predicted to become $760 billion business By 2026 the metaverse is already expanding,Like any technological revolution or development, this Possibilities and promises are full of possibilities The ethical and social ramifications associated with the mass use of these technologies.

    The metaverse as a toolbox of terrorism

    Like all technological innovations, the Metaverse brings new perspectives, threats and challenges, including possible use by terrorists and violent extremists. Terrorism Researcher in National Counter-Terrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) concluded:

    “We believe there is a potential dark side to the Metaverse. It is still under construction, but its evolution promises new ways for extremists to exert influence through fear, intimidation and coercion. Given our research on certain creativity and innovation, the metaverse could become a new frontier for terrorist activity.”

    Advances in the metaverse reveal new vulnerabilities. It can be exploited by terrorists and complicates existing counter-terrorism measures. To assess potential threats, our method scanned literature on the metaverse and similar platforms, such as academic papers and conference reports. By international bodies such as the European Commission, EUROPOL, the World Economic Forum and the Council of the European Union. This scan resulted in a list of threats and risks grouped into six categories representing the most important and plausible challenges.

    Recruitment and Indoctrination

    imagine A resurrected hypothetical Osama bin Laden, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Interact with potential Supporters in virtual gardens and auditoriums within the Metaverse. Combining artificial intelligence and augmented reality within the Metaverse to allow extremist leaders to meet and meet with their supporters to develop and sustain virtual idealistic societies and expand their spheres of influence. will be The extreme realism of the emotional virtual environment made possible by the Metaverse can make it difficult for some people to distinguish between reality and virtual reality. Online recruiters for terrorists or violent extremist groups will, in the future, You can meet potential followers in virtual rooms and accelerate the radicalization process.

    Attack planning and coordination

    The Metaverse also provides new opportunities for planning, coordinating, preparing for and executing terrorist acts. Augmented reality items such as AR headsets allow operatives, potential attackers, and followers to plan from home while building networks, contacts, and trust. With the metaverse, Avoid traditional communication channels when designing and preparing attacks, making surveillance by intelligence agencies significantly more difficult. Using the Metaverse’s capabilities, terrorists can organize online rallies to share realistic and immersive experiences of attacks against various targets.

    virtual training

    The metaverse has the potential to provide safer and more effective training simulations for online instruction. Virtual Reality (VR) technology has made the Metaverse vulnerable to mishandling by violent extremists and terrorists, with the Metaverse being used to provide and acquire combat training such as precision shooting, tactical training, hostage-taking, and surveillance. may be used. As Senno pointed outThe gaming division of the Metaverse could inadvertently host extremist activity due to its lack of oversight or oversight. Retention of anonymity.

    disinformation spread

    Disinformation can be a powerful weapon used to discredit authorities, institutions and media channels.Terrorists and extremists found out Disinformation can fuel polarization, mistrust, self-doubt and panic. The challenges disinformation poses to the metaverse are even more troubling. Waltzman, a Rand Corp. scientist, said: warned It goes a long way to protecting users from the threats posed by the metaverse. In the Metaverse, malevolent attackers will be able to take the dark arts of years of deception and influence to new heights and depths.:

    At the heart of all deception is emotional manipulation.Virtual Reality Environments…allowing for psychological and emotional manipulation [their] It’s aimed at a level of users unimaginable in today’s media…it provides a powerful set of tools to operate us effectively and efficiently. ”

    terrorist financing

    As Cryptocurrency Use Increases, The Metaverse Gives Terrorists A Tool Anonymously fund activities. Due to the ubiquity of cryptocurrencies, financial blacklisting and transaction tracking are largely ineffective in the Metaverse. Such decentralized funding could support terrorist organizations. Grow your online network.

    financial attack

    Terrorists are using different forms of cybercrime financing, cleaning, Steal money or attack financial institutions.according to Reported by Elliptic$14 Billion Worth Of Crypto Assets Scammed Even just in 2021. Phishing and fraud are also common in the metaverse. These techniques can be useful to terrorists and extremists who are already using online platforms for fundraising and bogus philanthropy.

    Can we have a more secure metaverse?

    The challenge of keeping the Metaverse secure requires the participation of all stakeholders, including government, industry, academia, and civil society. To devise such a preemptive strategy, several steps can be combined.

    early engagement

    It is important that civil society and law enforcement work with the key stakeholders designing the Metaverse platform to communicate their requirements early in the Metaverse implementation.Considering the laws of Western societies, some laws probably This limits the abuse of the metaverse and encourages providers to implement protective measures. For example, there may be an API standard that law enforcement agencies can use to connect to all relevant platforms for enforcement purposes.

    Metaverse monitoring

    a Europol report Conclusion that “[w]We encourage law enforcement agencies to monitor metaverse development and begin building experience with online policing and early iterations of the metaverse. Societies, governments and security agencies use cyber surveillance and cyber surveillance techniques to combat crime, terrorism and online abuse.

    Identity policy

    We need a way to verify an individual’s identity before they are allowed into the Metaverse. Requiring personal identification when creating an account or avatar could reduce identity theft on a massive scale.

    User education

    Educating users about the measures they can take and the precautions they can take to protect their identities and possessions within the metaverse plays an important role. Young people are often eager to learn, and the knowledge they gain will help them provide themselves and others with cyber defense.

    Public Private Partnership (PPP)

    Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), a form of cooperation between states and the private sector, are widely considered necessary to combat terrorist use of the Internet in general, and cyberterrorism in particular. Antigone Davis, Global Safety Officer at Meta, said:Partnering with government, industry, academia, and civil society is critical to providing pervasive security as the Metaverse evolves.


    The history of the Internet and related technologies has taught us that the unintended side effects of innovation can have the most serious consequences. Whatever the outcome, all parties should participate in the development of the Metaverse or similar platform and stay informed about future products. To devise a preemptive strike strategy to counter terrorist attacks within the Metaverse, it is essential to understand what potential abusers are devising. ThThis is your opportunity to actively prepare and contribute to shaping a safer metaverse and similar platforms. Waiting until the metaverse is fully operational before building safeguards may be too late.

    For a detailed report on this research, see Gabriel Weimann and Roy Dimant (2023). The Metaverse and Terrorism: Threats and Challenges, Volume XVII, Volume 2:92-107, available at:

    Gabriel Wyman Professor at Reichmann University (Israel), Professor Emeritus at Haifa University (Israel), Visiting Professor at Georgetown University (Washington, DC). During his long career, he has conducted research on various subjects such as political communication, online his terrorism, extremism and cyber terrorism. He has published nine of his books and over 200 of his scientific writings and has received numerous research grants and academic awards.


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