New metaverse platform ‘CyberDefender’ launched by Hong Kong Police Force

The cybersecurity unit of the Hong Kong Police Force has launched CyberDefender, a new virtual world platform designed to educate the public about the potential dangers associated with Web3 and the metaverse.

On May 27, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force unveiled the new virtual world platform to prepare its citizens for the challenges they may face in the digital age, especially in regards to technology crime prevention.

“Exploring the Metaverse” event in the CyberDefender metaverse on May 27. Source: Government of Hong Kong.

On the same day of the launch, an event was held on the platform called “Exploring the Metaverse” which spanned 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 and urged attendees to practice the same level of vigilance they use when using the internet. He stated:

“All crimes in 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.

“Exploring the Metaverse” event in the CyberDefender metaverse on May 27. Source: Government of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Police Force plans to increase its educational initiatives on technology crimes, especially for younger generations, after seeing a significant rise in virtual asset crime reported in Hong Kong during Q1 2023. A total of 663 cases involving virtual assets were reported, resulting in a total loss of $570 million, a 75% increase compared to Q1 2022.

“Police will continue to organize public educational initiatives on different themes through the ‘CyberDefender Metaverse’ platform, raise awareness among teenagers regarding the latest advancements in information technology, potential pitfalls and the importance of preventing technology crimes.”

Related: Top metaverse property investments suffer massive losses: Report

In addition, the capital city of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, Nanjing, launched the China Metaverse Technology and Application Innovation Platform on May 22 to advance metaverse research and development across the country. The platform is being led by Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

Magazine: How to resurrect the ‘Metaverse dream’ in 2023

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