In recent times cybercrime has been on a surge across the globe. Keeping the same in the picture, cybersecurity experts have published a report predicting the potential targets of cyber criminals in the coming year.
Recently, a Russia-based multinational cybersecurity firm named Kaspersky published a report titled “Consumer Cyberthreats: Predictions for 2023”. The report highlighted that in the coming times, not only will malware, but ransomware, and phishing attacks will be critical concerns for the crypto industry, and subsequently the metaverse could be a potential target too.
According to the report, the lack of efficiency in data protection and the absence of regulation will be fuelling the alleged exploitation of the metaverse. It also acknowledges the limited number of metaverse platforms currently exist. Still, the number is expected to increase by folds in the coming times, and the market could even top $50 billion by 2026.
The expansion, as projected, would lure cybercriminals toward the ecosystem to exploit the unaware or lesser aware participants of the digital assets sector. As we know, social media has long been the hotspot for data breach activities, and now the exploitation of the metaverse would be an extension. A study revealed that in 2021 over $1 billion was lost in crypto-related scams via the exploitation of social media.
As per the report, cybercriminals will highly target and prioritize the in-game digital currencies and valuable items after hijacking the players’ accounts or trapping them into fraudulent offers or scam deals to gain or exploit digital assets. Online gaming platforms have introduced monetary incentives for the players; however, that would also be a lucrative point for the malicious actors.
Further, the firm’s report also anticipates that the monetary losses will not be the only concern as the cases of virtual abuse and sexual assault will extend onto the metaverse ecosystems. Adding to the prediction, it stated the examples of “avatar rape and abuse.” It suggested that the trend would continue and be more prevalent in the absence of regulation and solid protection.
In relevance to it, it would be appropriate to point out that Meta, formerly known as Facebook, had been highly repulsed for its metaverse ambitions. The platform was repulsed because of a lack of user protection and privacy concerns.
The upgrade to augmented reality-based social media will also add more threats like data and money theft, phishing, and account hijacking. It will help the criminals distribute the fake trojan-affected applications to infect the devices with malicious intentions.