The Hong Kong Police Force’s cybersecurity unit has launched CyberDefender, a metaverse platform that’s designed to enlighten the general public about the potential risks involved with Web3 and the metaverse.
The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force revealed CyberDefender to help individuals understand the, “Challenges ahead in the digital age,” as it prioritises the prevention of tech crimes.
Simultaneously, an event titled ‘Exploring the Metaverse’ took place across three virtual venues with the aim of discussing crime prevention strategies within the nascent metaverse space. While addressing attendees at the event, chief inspector Ip Cheuk-yu of the CSTCB spoke on the significance of exercising caution within the metaverse. He urged participants to maintain the same level of vigilance they employ while using the internet.
Prioritising user safety
“All crimes in the cyberspace could also happen in the metaverse, such as investment frauds, unauthorised access to systems, theft and sexual offences. The decentralised nature of virtual assets in Web3 may also increase the likelihood of cyber criminals targeting endpoint devices, virtual asset wallets and smart contracts,” said Cheuk-yu.
The Hong Kong Police Force is also looking to amp up its tech crime educational initiatives, with a focus on, ‘The younger generation’ due to a significant rise in virtual asset crimes reported in the city earlier this year.
According to a statement, “Police will continue to organise public educational initiatives on different themes through the CyberDefender Metaverse platform, raise the awareness among teenagers regarding the latest advancements in information technology, potential pitfalls and the importance of preventing technology crimes, as well as better preparing them to seize the opportunities in the digital age.”
Just last year, Hong Kong recorded 2,336 virtual asset-related cases with a loss of $1.7 billion. In the first quarter of this year, the city’s police received 663 cases of its kind with a total loss of $570 million, an increase of 44 per cent incidents and 75 per cent value as compared with the first quarter of last year.