How Metaverse Is Used by Cybercriminals – Interstars

Right now many places are ” metaverse ” In the making. The Facebook mom Meta around Mark Zuckerberg want to play here, as well Microsoft. In the future you should metaverse work and hold meetings, for example, and everyone sees a virtual avatar. Virtual goods can also be purchased, such as pictures, real estate or hair ornaments. The company’s cyber security experts Trend Micro now warns that soon a ” dark verse‘ could occur. This means that cybercrime can quickly spread to new platforms on the Internet.

Everything we know about the old online world may soon be happening there too: extortion, data and identity theft. “From the perspective of cybercriminals, this is a profitable business model. There will also be money to be made from crime,” he explains Udo Schneidersecurity expert at Trend Micro from futurezone.

NFT Scam

“There have already been successful fraud attempts where virtual goods were stolen,” says Schneider. This affected approx Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). These are used in the metaverse to prove ownership. Users were NFT dec Bored Ape Yacht Clubs about worth a cyber attack 200 ethers ($357,000) stolen. Using the identity of a real community manager, many NFT owners were tricked into clicking on a specific link that was supposed to provide “exclusive freebies”. But instead of free gifts, clicking the link for the victims ended up being one less NFT in their collection. In doing so, users signed a blank transfer with which they had allocated their NFTs.

Bored Ape Yacht Club’s NFTs have been stolen

This adds another dimension to online fraud as we already know it from conventional online platforms. NFTs are therefore a popular target for cybercriminals. “Of course people will lose NFTs because of this,” says auch Otmar Lendl Internet firefighters CERT.at to the future area. “Where there’s money, there’s crime,” says Lendl.

“We’ve also seen a number of ransomware groups targeting it Ethereum and Bitcoin wallets has planned. In such cases, certain file types are deliberately addressed in the encryption code,” says Schneider. Ultimately, this makes owners trust theirs crypto wallets can no longer access it because the files are encrypted. Access to your own cryptocurrency assets is thus limited. This is problematic as law enforcement agencies have relatively little power to help.

“Where there is money, there is also crime. »

the police locked up

“It is a huge problem that in the digital area there is no property value that the police can recover. Returning stolen goods becomes really difficult in the metaverse,” says Lendl. “NFTs like Bitcoin are tied to wallets. If the wallet is gone, or if I lose the key, or if it’s stolen, it’s all gone.

Schneider also worries that the police are having a hard time in the Metaverse. This is because nothing public happens there and chat rooms can be programmed to keep the police out. “Access links, for example, can only be used once. It allows for better control of virtual spaces,” Schneider says of the technical possibilities to block the police from all activity in the metaverse.

Money laundering with overpriced virtual goods

Another problem could be that in Metaverse it is easy money laundering let it be: criminals can buy and sell virtual real estate here for outrageous amounts of money. “If I’m not mistaken as the wallet owner, there’s no chance I’ll be recognized,” says Schneider. Furthermore, reference is made to the term ” silver mule ” Position. “These are people who provide their wallet for transactions and then get to keep a portion of the money that passes through their wallet,” Schneider explains. This makes it technically impossible to prove where transactions come from and where they go, as the number of transactions is simply too high to track everything. “Law enforcement should be counting on the stupid people here just entering their wallet ID,” Schneider says.

“The IT security industry must act now or risk a new Wild West developing on our digital doorstep,” warns the IT expert. According to CERT.at’s Lendl, so far no specific cases involving cybercrime have been reported in the Metaverse in Austria. “But I am extremely skeptical about the sustainability of the current ideas about the metaverse in the form that is being announced,” says Lendl.

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