Trend Micro predicts a 'darkverse' of criminality


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 19 August, 2022

Trend Micro predicts a 'darkverse' of criminality

Alongside the evolving ‘metaverse’ is a new ‘darkverse’ of hidden criminal activity which could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime, according to Trend Micro.

In a new report, the security company predicted that the metaverse will be targeted with a range of new and evolving threats, with the darkverse soon becoming the go-to place for conducting illegal activities away from the eyes of law enforcement.

The top threats expected to be facing the metaverse include phishing, ransom and fraud activities targeting NFTs; money laundering using overpriced metaverse online real estate and NFTs; greater threats to privacy; and the proliferation of social engineering and propaganda.

Trend Micro Technical Director Mick McCluney said the darkverse imagined by the company will resemble a metaverse version of the dark web.

“The metaverse is a multibillion-dollar hi-tech vision that will define the next internet era. Although we don’t know exactly how it will develop, we need to start thinking now about how it will be exploited by threat actors,” he said.

“Given the high costs and jurisdictional challenges, law enforcement will struggle to police the metaverse in general in its early years. The security community must step in now or risk a new Wild West to develop on our digital doorstep.”

The cyber-physical nature of the metaverse will also open doors for new threat actors, with cybercriminals looking to compromise the ‘digital twin’ spaces run by critical infrastructure operators, for sabotage or extortion of industrial systems, the report also predicts.

Image credit: iStock.com/XH4D

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