CyberDefender, a newly launched metaverse platform by the cybersecurity unit of the Hong Kong Police Force, aims to provide public education on the potential hazards related to Web3 and the metaverse. On May 27, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force issued a statement introducing the new platform as a proactive measure to equip citizens for the demands of the digital era, placing particular emphasis on deterring technology-related offenses.
To mark the launch, an event titled “Exploring the Metaverse” was held on the CyberDefender platform, taking place across three virtual venues. The event served as a platform to discuss strategies and measures for preventing crimes within the metaverse.
During the event, Chief Inspector Ip Cheuk-yu emphasized the importance of exercising caution in the metaverse. He highlighted that all types of crimes that occur in cyberspace could also happen in the metaverse, including investment fraud, unauthorized access to systems, theft, and sexual offenses. Chief Inspector Ip urged attendees to maintain the same level of vigilance they practice when using the internet.
Chief Inspector Ip also acknowledged that the decentralized nature of virtual assets in Web3 could increase the risk of cybercriminals targeting end point devices, virtual asset wallets, and smart contracts, potentially leading to asset theft.
Following a significant increase in virtual asset-related crimes reported in Hong Kong during Q1 2023, the Hong Kong Police Force plans to enhance its educational initiatives on technology crime, particularly targeting the younger generation. In Q1 2023 alone, Hong Kong reported 663 cases involving virtual assets, resulting in a total loss of $570 million, representing a 75% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
The Hong Kong Police Force intends to leverage the ‘CyberDefender Metaverse’ platform to organize public educational initiatives on various themes, aiming to raise awareness among teenagers about the latest developments in information technology, potential risks, and the importance of preventing technology-related crimes.
This announcement follows the launch of the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform in Nanjing, China, which aims to drive metaverse research and development efforts across the country, with the leadership of the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.