The platform’s main objective is to educate people about the potential dangers that can arise within this digital realm.
The Hong Kong police introduced a new Web3 platform called “CyberDefender Metaverse” as part of their technological advances. To mark this milestone, the police force hosted an inaugural event titled “Exploring the Metaverse” within the virtual realm.
In an effort to increase public awareness of potential risks related to Web3 and the metaverse, the Hong Kong police launched this metaverse platform. To encourage discussions about crime prevention strategies within the metaverse, the event was held in three virtual locations.
The event was specifically organized on the newly launched platform and aimed to engage participants in proactive conversations on how to ensure security within this digital realm. During the event, Chief Inspector Ip Cheuk-yu, member of the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB), gave a comprehensive presentation on the risks associated with Web3.
With great concern, he stressed to the attendees that the metaverse presents potential dangers such as fraud, hacking, theft, and sexual crimes. In addition to addressing the risks posed by the metaverse, the event placed significant emphasis on the use of digital assets by modern cybercriminals.
Attendees were briefed on the progress made in the fight against cryptocrime and ongoing efforts to mitigate its impact. By delving into this aspect, the event provided valuable insight into the evolving cybercrime landscape and the progress made to curb illicit activities involving digital assets. Ip Cheuk-yu stated the following:
“All crimes in cyberspace could also occur in the metaverse, such as investment fraud, unauthorized access to systems, theft, and sex offenses.”
Furthermore, he explained that decentralization could potentially increase the risk of asset theft.
“The decentralized nature of virtual assets on Web3 may also increase the likelihood that cybercriminals will target endpoint devices, virtual asset wallets, and smart contracts,” he stated.
Evident Increase in Criminal Activities within the Metaverse
According to the Hong Kong police force, the city witnessed a staggering 2,336 virtual asset-related crimes in 2022 alone. These incidents inflicted substantial financial losses of $1.7 billion on the victims.
The seriousness of the situation becomes even more evident since in the first quarter of this year 663 cases of a similar nature were already reported. Alarmingly, reported losses during this short period amounted to $570 million, showing a troubling 75% increase, as compared to the same period in 2022.
Such statistics underscore the pressing need for proactive measures to address the growing trend of related virtual assets crimes, as well as to protect people from significant financial harm.
Revised Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Published
This week, along with the introduction of the new metaverse platform, the Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission (HKSRC) released revised anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines.
The informative guide describes the tactics used by criminals to launder money through digital assets and offers comprehensive measures for financial institutions to protect themselves from illicit commitments.
These updated regulations will be applicable to all companies involved in virtual assets and entail increased Know Your Customer (KYC), as well as due diligence obligations.
By Audy Castaneda