The cybersecurity unit of the Hong Kong Police Force has launched CyberDefender, a new metaverse platform designed to educate the public about the potential dangers associated with Web3 and the metaverse.
According to a May 27 statement, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force unveiled the new metaverse platform to prepare its citizens for the “challenges ahead in the digital age,” with a focus on technology crime prevention.
On the same day it launched, an event was held on the platform called “Exploring the Metaverse,” spanning three virtual venues, to discuss crime prevention strategies within the metaverse.
During the event, the chief inspector of the CSTCB, Ip Cheuk-yu, emphasized the importance of exercising caution in the metaverse. He urged attendees to apply the same level of vigilance they practice when using the internet, stating:
“All crimes in the cyberspace could also happen in the metaverse, such as investment frauds, unauthorized access to systems, theft and sexual offenses.”
He further explained that decentralization could potentially raise the risk of asset theft.
“The decentralized nature of virtual assets in Web3 may also increase the likelihood of cyber criminals targeting end point devices, virtual asset wallets and smart contracts” he said.
The Hong Kong Police Force plans to ramp up its technology crime educational initiatives, especially for “the younger generation,” after a significant rise in virtual asset crime was reported in Hong Kong during Q1 2023.
It was revealed that 663 cases involving virtual assets were reported in Hong Kong during Q1 2023.
This represented a total loss of $570 million, a 75% increase compared with Q1 2022.
“Police will continue to organize 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.“
This comes after Nanjing, the capital city of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, launched the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform on May 22 to advance metaverse research and development across the country.
The Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology is leading the innovation platform.