May 29, 2023

The Hong Kong Police Force Launches 'CyberDefender Metaverse' to Educate the Public on Cyber Threats

The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force has recently launched the "CyberDefender Metaverse" platform. This platform is designed to inform the public about potential cyber threats.

Enhancing Public Consciousness

The inaugural online event on the "CyberDefender Metaverse" platform, entitled "Exploring the Metaverse," was recently conducted by the Police Force. The event aimed to raise public awareness of the risks and opportunities associated with web3 and the metaverse, shedding light on emerging technology crimes and the novel experiences offered by this technology.

The platform includes three virtual venues open to public exploration: the web3-themed Gallery, CyberDefender City, and the Auditorium. Since its beta testing launch in mid-May, the Gallery has already attracted over 350 visitors.

Ip Cheuk-yu, Chief Inspector of CSTCB, noted that all types of cyber crimes, including theft, investment fraud, and unauthorized system access, could potentially occur within the metaverse. He highlighted that the decentralized nature of web3 and the use of digital assets could make endpoint devices, smart contracts, and digital wallets more attractive targets for cybercriminals.

Guest speakers at the event included the Chairman of the Hong Kong Multimedia Design Association and Mr. Aska Yeung, as well as Mr. Eric Yeung, Founding President of the Esports Association Hong Kong. They delved into various entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges in web3 and the metaverse, the difficulties of being an artist in the NFT industry, the influence of AI-generated NFT art, and the integration of e-sports into web3.

An Entrenched Threat

In 2022, Hong Kong recorded 2,336 virtual asset-related cases, resulting in losses of HK$1.7 billion ($217 million). In the first quarter of this year alone, the region has seen 663 such cases, with total losses reaching HK$570 million, a 44% increase from the previous quarter.

Many of these cases involved virtual asset investment scams, in which cybercriminals took advantage of the public's lack of understanding. They tricked unsuspecting individuals into non-existent investment activities, leading to significant financial losses.

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