Metaverse exploitation and abuse will increase in 2023: Kaspersky

Malware, ransomware attacks and phishing are not the only plagues of the crypto industry as the Metaverse could become a big target next year, according to cybersecurity experts.

In its “Consumer Cyberthreats: Predictions for 2023” report on Nov. 28, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned that there will be greater exploitation of the metaverse due to the lack of data protection and moderation rules.

Kaspersky acknowledged that there are currently only a handful of metaverse platforms, but the number of metaverses is expected to increase in the coming years and the market could even surpass $50 billion by 2026. This expansion will attract cybercriminals to the ecosystem looking to exploit unwitting virtual networks. global participants.

“As the Metaverse experience is universal and does not obey regional data protection laws, such as the GDPR, this could create complex conflicts between regulatory requirements around data breach notification.”

Social media is already a hotbed of data breach activity, so it stands to reason that the Metaverse will be an extension of that. As Cointelegraph reported earlier this year, social media was responsible for over $1 billion in losses from crypto scams in 2021.

Kaspersky also predicted that virtual abuse and sexual assault would spread across metaverse ecosystems. He mentioned cases of “avatar rape and abuse” adding that without safeguards or moderation rules “this scary trend is likely to follow us into 2023”.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has already received a lot of pushback on its Metaverse ambitions due to lack of user protections and privacy concerns on its social media platform.

The report predicts that virtual currencies and in-game valuables will be one of the “primary targets” of cybercriminals looking to hijack gamer accounts or trick them into fraudulent transactions to shell out valuable virtual assets. Most modern games have introduced some form of monetization or digital currency support that will become a honeypot for malicious actors.

Related: The Metaverse is a new frontier for earning passive income

Kaspersky noted that new forms of social media will also bring more risk. He specifically mentioned a shift to augmented reality-based social media, adding that cybercriminals can start “distributing fake trojanized apps” to infect devices for other malicious purposes.

Threats to new augmented reality-based social networks and metaverse platforms are mainly data and money theft, phishing and account takeover, the report concludes.