Kaspersky: Metaverse Criminal Activities to Increase in 2023

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  • Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has predicted an increase in metaverse-based criminal activities in 2023
  • The firm sees the lack of data protection rules in the virtual world as a major security threat
  • Kaspersky forecasted the metaverse to be a $50 billion market in the next four years

Respected cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has indicated that metaverse-based crimes are likely to increase in 2023 due to inadequate data protection rules in the virtual world. Although the firm acknowledged the low number of metaverse platforms, it said this is bound to change in coming years, giving cybercriminals more places to look for victims. Kaspersky sees in-game items as a target for criminals in the digital world.

Irresistible but Fraudulent In-game Deals

In its report dubbed ‘Consumer Cyberthreats: Predictions for 2023,’ the cybersecurity firm forecasted that an increase in metaverse platforms will also lead to a rise in criminal activities in these worlds. Possible high targets for criminals are in-game items such as tokens since “they process money directly.”

According to Kaspersky, that can be pulled off by, among other ways, hacking players’ accounts or offering gamers an irresistible but “fraudulent in-game deal.”

Metaverse-based criminals will also use long-awaited game titles to lure unsuspecting victims. The criminals will tap into the privacy gap on new social media platforms or even gain access to sensitive data held by mental health apps for use in social engineering, further bringing their victims within reach.

The Metaverse Doesn’t Obey Regional Rules

According to the report, the major catalyst for the increase of crimes in the metaverse would be the presence of a world that doesn’t “obey regional data protection laws such as GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation],” which promotes a defined framework for data privacy laws.

Other crimes likely to emerge in the metaverse include virtual sexual abuse such as “avatar rape and abuse.” Since habits in the metaverse are already mirroring those in the physical world, data protection concerns are likely to derail its adoption.