The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force has gone live with the “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform, intended to educate the public on cyber threats.
Creating public awareness
The Police Force held its first online event on the “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform, “Exploring the Metaverse,” whereby they raised awareness of threats and opportunities linked with the web3 and metaverse. The event looked into new technology crimes and the new experience the technology brings.
Meanwhile, the platform has three virtual venues, the web3-themed Gallery, the CyberDefender City, and Auditorium, open to the public to explore freely and learn more about the metaverse. The Gallery has seen over 350 visits since its beta testing went live in mid-May.
Chief Inspector of CSTCB Ip Cheuk-yu mentioned that all cyberspace crimes, such as theft, investment fraud, and unauthorized access to systems, could occur in the metaverse. He also pointed out that the decentralized nature and digital assets used in web3 could increase cybercriminals’ target on endpoint devices, smart contracts, and digital wallets.
The event featured two guest speakers: The Hong Kong Multimedia Design Association Chairman and Mr. Aska Yeung, the Founding President of the Esports Association Hong Kong, Mr. Eric Yeung. They discussed the various web3 and metaverse entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges. They also touched on being an artist in the NFT industry, its challenges, and the impact of artificial intelligence-generated NFT art. Lastly, they talked of e-spots and their integration into web3.
A deep-rooted threat
In 2022, Hong Kong had 2,336 virtual asset-related cases leading to a loss of HK$1.7 billion ($217 million). This year, they experienced 663 cases in the first quarter that saw losses amounting to HK$570 million, a 44% rise from the last quarter.
Many cases were on virtual asset investment, whereby cybercriminals capitalized on the public’s lack of knowledge. They could lure them into investment activities that did not exist hence the huge financial losses.