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Hong Kong police launch metaverse to combat cybercrimes

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The Hong Kong Police’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CTSCB) is taking a proactive approach against emerging cybercrimes. The police just launched the “CyberDefender Metaverse”, inaugurating it in an event titled “Exploring the Metaverse.” The platform is designed to raise public awareness for Web3 and Metaverse, educate the public on risks and opportunities, and provide unique, hands-on learning experiences to prepare for future tech crimes.

The CyberDefender Metaverse is a platform that allows public access to three distinct virtual venues: the Auditorium, CyberDefender City, and Gallery, with each providing unique opportunities for learning and exploration in the emerging field of the Metaverse. With over 350 visitors in its beta testing phase and over 120 teenagers, teachers, and parents participating in its inaugural event, the platform has already gained notable traction. Access to the platform enables individuals to gain valuable insights and experiences that translate into digital literacy, preparing them for future challenges in the digital landscape.

Hong Kong had 2,336 virtual asset-related cases in 2022 with a $1.7B loss. In Q1 2021, they got 663 cases with a $570M loss, up 44% and 75% respectively from last year’s Q1.

At a thematic sharing session, Mr. Ip Cheuk-yu, Chief Inspector of the CSTCB, raised some important concerns about the potential dangers of the Metaverse. Specifically, he focused on crime prevention measures that are necessary to avoid cybercrimes from occurring in the digital realm, as these same crimes can occur in Metaverse. The risks include investment fraud, unauthorized access to systems, theft, and sexual offenses. Furthermore, the decentralized nature and use of virtual assets in Web3 may make endpoint devices, smart contracts, and virtual asset wallets more susceptible to cybercriminals.

The event sought to bring a diverse range of perspectives to the topics of Web3 and the Metaverse. Featured speakers included Mr. Eric Yeung, Founding President of the Esports Association Hong Kong, and Mr. Aska Yeung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Multimedia Design Association. They explored various aspects of these emerging technologies, discussing the possibilities, challenges, and opportunities for entrepreneurs and artists. In addition, they touched upon the interplay between NFTs and AI-generated art, and the potential impact of e-sports on Web3 development.

Virtual assets are not always safe, particularly for the uninitiated. Hong Kong has seen a surge in virtual asset-related crimes, with 2,336 cases and $1.7 billion lost in 2022 alone. In the first quarter of 2023, there were 663 reported cases, a 44% increase from the previous year, resulting in a combined loss of $570 million – a 75% increase from the same period last year. Cybercriminals target virtual asset investments by exploiting public ignorance and lack of security, which has severe financial implications for individuals and society.

The Hong Kong Police are dedicated to promoting digital literacy among younger generations. Through their “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform, teens can explore the digital world and learn how to avoid pitfalls. By educating the public about the latest advances in technology, the Hong Kong Police are helping to create a safer and more secure online community for everyone.

Read also; Arbitrum DeFi protocol, Jimbos Protocol hacked, $7.5+ lost to the attacker

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