the dark side of the Metaverse where cybercriminals organize themselves

Social engineering, propaganda, fraud and theft of Nft, Trend Micro highlights with an analysis all the risks of the new Meta company.

Monsters will also be in the Metaverse. And they could be even scarier. Fraud, money laundering, child exploitation, disinformation, cyber attacks. Placing your hands in the very deep throat of the darkweb, you will find this and more. A macabre underground warehouse where illegal markets and violent content proliferate. The Darkverse is his evolution towards power. More protected, real, impregnable and physical. More dangerous.

The alarm raised by Trend Micro

“The Metaverse is a multi-billion dollar high-tech vision that will define the next Internet age. Although we don’t know exactly how it will evolve, we need to start thinking now about how it will be exploited by cybercriminals. “Said Gastone Nencini, country manager at Trend Micro Italia.” Given the high costs and jurisdictional challenges, law enforcement in general they will have difficulty monitoring the metaverse in the early years. We need to intervene now, otherwise there is a risk that a new Far West will develop in our digital world. “

The analysis of Trend Micro, a leading company in the IT security sector, raises the alarm and puts the risks of the Darkverse into a system. It is genetically more dangerous than the dark web. It is not indexed by standard search engines, users have a “physical” presence, and are able to create protected spaces, shelters inaccessible to the police. Cybercriminals will be able to virtually enter illegal markets, create new ones, and it would be impossible for the police to infiltrate without the right authentication tokens. A refuge can also be in plain sight but still inaccessible.

What is “metacrimine” based on?

The Darkverse could become the appropriate cover for the development of multiple threats: financial fraud, e-commerce, NFT theft or even ransomware. The cyber-physical nature of the Metaverse will open new doors for cybercriminals, who could attempt to compromise spaces managed by critical infrastructure operators with the aim of sabotaging or extorting industrial systems. They will also be able to plan and test crimes that will then be reproduced in the real world.

NFTs will be, and are already in part, used to define ownership within the metaverse. This indicates that they will be increasingly targeted by phishing, ransomware and fraud. The problem is that if the data files were encrypted in a ransomware attack, the user would remain the owner without being able to access their resources unless they pay a ransom. Not only that, the artwork could be easily tampered with. This is demonstrated by Moxie Marlinspike, a cybersecurity expert, who managed to modify an NFT based on who was watching it. There could therefore be several very similar versions of the same work, which allows you to maximize your earnings by reselling them at the price of the original.

The metaverse will also be a breeding ground for social engineering, propaganda, and fake news. Everything will have more impact in a cyber-physical world. Influential news or stories will be used by criminals or other entities to target sensitive groups on certain topics. It will also be easier to orient public opinion in the classic echo bubbles that will have greater resonance. Privacy will also be redefined. Visibility in the metaverse will be unprecedented.

A practical example

In 2019, a transnational human trafficking network used Facebook to sell and sexually structure 20 women. They were drawn to social media and convinced to move to Dubai to work in a massage parlor. Actually a cover for a brothel. 100 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts were used to recruit victims.

Translate everything in the metaverse. First, it would be more difficult for police to infiltrate cats to retrieve evidence and identify criminals. Even if he found them, he would need authentication tokens to access them. Not only that, the metaverse “sex slaves” could also be secretly sold through fake avatars or profiles. Trivially, the hyperrealism that permeates the platform could represent an advantage for criminals who would be more credible in the eyes of the victims.

Zuckerberg’s colorful, interactive virtual world filled with avatars moving around in what appears to be a large playground is just the other side of the coin. Meta invests billions to create a new world of infinite possibilities almost from scratch. A world that already carries all the sins of the net in her womb.

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