December 4, 2022

Metaverse To Be Increasingly Exploited in 2023, Report Says



The metaverse could be likely the next target for cybercriminals in 2023 as they might move from using Bitcoins as ransomware to exploiting participants in the virtual space.

This warning came in a report by Kaspersky, a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, titled “Consumer cyber threats: predictions for 2023.”

Kaspersky attributed its prediction to the metaverse’s lack of data protection and regulation in light of the increasing accession of more companies to it. The cybersecurity company expected that the metaverse market would reach $50 billion. More metaverse platforms will be launched in 2023, therefore they would be targets for cybercriminals.

The report said: “As the metaverse experience is universal and does not obey regional data protection laws, such as GDPR, — this might create complex conflicts between the requirements of the regulations regarding data breach notification.”

Kaspersky named virtual abuse and sexual assault as key threats, which are predicted to prevail in the metaverse in 2023, referring to the case of “avatar rape and abuse.” It stressed the importance of developing protection mechanisms and moderation rules, otherwise, the threats will continue to spread in the coming year.

The report mentioned experts’ opinions of how cybercriminals would exploit the metaverse. Experts highlighted the lack of user protection and privacy on the metaverse platforms as a key lacuna, citing that Meta received mass resentment against its metaverse plans due to a lack of data protection and privacy.

In terms of the online games’ introduction of monetization, in-game valuable items and currencies could encourage cyber criminals to steal the players’ accounts. For instance, cyber thieves stole items worth 2 million dollars from an account that they hacked.

According to the report, social media platforms are still hotbeds of data breach activity. And as most metaverse platforms are replicas of social media, so the metaverse will be an extension.

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