The virtual world of the Metaverse is pitched as a second internet, and with that comes a second wave of cyber crimes. According to Europol, the virtual world will be a hotspot for ransomware, harassment, identity theft and more.
Europol vs Metaverse Cyber Crime
A recent report released by Europol revealed future targets for Metaverse crime. Dubbed “Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know”, the report informs cops of the challenges of policing the virtual world.
In the report, it was stated that criminals could use the VR platform to commit a multitude of crimes. These include money laundering of virtual assets, stealing biometric data for identity fraud, terrorist propaganda and recruitment as well as sexual harassment, grooming and exploitation.
Europol explained that police should start thinking about how it will tackle the virtual world now. Using a report from Garter, it claimed that 25% of people will use the Metaverse daily, thus requiring regulation. The report reads:
“We recommend law enforcement to monitor the development of the metaverse and to start building experience with online policing and early iterations of the metaverse. Doing this officially will help organizations stay informed on the subject and enable them to assess developments accurately, answering threats as they emerge.”
Are there any positives?
While Europol expressed fear regarding Metaverse cyber crime, it also claimed there could be positives. Similar to Interpol, the group believe that the virtual world could be used to train police more effectively.
Furthermore, the report claimed that crime scenes could be 3D scanned and replicated within virtual reality. This would allow more investigators to look at a crime scene, even if they’re miles away.
On the other hand, they also revealed that it could be used for rehabilitation of criminals. Using virtual reality, realistic courses could be created to help create awareness and empathy for victims.
Of course, the true future of the Metaverse is uncertain, so is its crime rate. Will we need this much policing of the virtual world? And what happens to jurisdiction in virtual reality?