The term “metaverse” was first used in Neal Stephenson ‘s 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. The novel depicts a virtual world that can be explored using an avatar, providing the player with a fully immersive experience. Similar worlds can now be found in massively massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Second Life, which are depicted in Snow Crash. I have to say that it is still far from an immersive experience.
In the latest conception, the metaverse consists of multiple virtual spaces that are independent but connected. This makes it impossible for one company to build the entire metaverse on its own. Even with an optimistic outlook, it will take 5–10 years for a full-fledged metaverse to fully roll out.Metaverse gamesand applications already exist, such as Decentraland, Crypto Voxels, Minecraft, and Second Life, but they are primarily designed for gamers rather than the general public. In the future, Trend Micro believes that everyday activities such as remote work, entertainment, education, and shopping will take place in the next generation of Metaverse-like applications. Many of these applications naturally share cyberspace. Ultimately, as the underlying technologies (hardware, software, network infrastructure, and ubiquity) mature, it will morph into a single metaverse. In this shared space, users can easily switch between applications and access the Metaverse using a wide variety of hardware.
But the Metaverse also attracts crimes that exploit its unique characteristics. This blog provides an overview, and a research paper provides more details.
What exactly is the Metaverse?
There are many opinions about what the Metaverse is and how it fits into the Internet picture. Trend Micro has created the following interim definitions to aid research:
The Metaverse is a cloud-distributed, multi-vendor, immersive interactive operating environment that users can access using a diverse category of connected devices, both static and mobile. The Metaverse uses Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 technologies to implement an interaction layer over the existing Internet. Metaverse is proposed as an open platform for working and gaming within VR/AR/MR/XR environments. This is a similar concept to existing MMORPG platforms, but while MMORPGs each represent their own single virtual world, the Metaverse allows players to seamlessly move between multiple virtual spaces with their virtual assets. The Metaverse is not just a platform for human users. It is also the communication layer of smart city devices, which allows humans and AI to share information.
In essence, the Metaverse will be the Internet of Experiences (IoX) . However, it is quite to be expected that this definition will evolve as the concept of the metaverse evolves.
What Threats Affect the Metaverse?
Predicting cyber threats to a product space that does not yet exist and may or may not exist in the form we imagine it to be is difficult. With this in mind, Trend Micro has consulted to better understand the Metaverse and identify threats to and within the Metaverse.
Various opinions have been expressed about the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) within the metaverse. An NFT is a unique unit of data that is recorded on a blockchain and can be traded. NFT data can include hashes and links to digital files (text, photos, video, audio, etc.) to verify ownership of digital assets. NFTs manage asset ownership but do not store assets, exposing users to threats such as ransomware attacks. Once the files are encrypted by the ransomware, the NFT owner will not be able to access the files. Additionally, assets can be effectively stolen if the underlying blockchain is vulnerable to Sybil attacks .
Scammers can also mimic NFTs by subtly tampering with a few bits of data in “protected” files to sell essentially the same digital asset. As demonstrated by Moxie Marlinspike, assets can also be manipulated by modifying the content returned from the URL stored within the NFT.
In addition, there are security issues around asset transfers. Moving digital assets betweenmetaverse development solutionsspaces incurs costs. This is because assets must be validated, and incompatible assets must be “converted” before they can technically be used on different platforms. Asset brokers are used for this, but scammers posing as asset brokers can trick users.
Until best practices and rules are established, virtual trading routes risk becoming lawless. If it is firmly rooted in blockchain technology, it will be an inherently chaotic market. There is no clear government agency or legal entity to help in the event of fraud. Existing attacks such as phishing and drive-by downloads are also more effective because of the trust that this interactive space creates.
The Darkverse will be similar to the Dark Web and will be an anonymous space for malicious users to interact. This pseudo-physical entity mimics the real-life space used for clandestine meetings and is suitable for criminals to facilitate illegal activities. On the other hand, it can also be a safe space to speak freely against oppressive groups and governments.
The world of Darkverse can be configured to be accessible only when the user is in a designated physical location. Doing so protects a closed metaverse community. The use of location-based and proximity messages will make it difficult for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to intercept Metaverse data.
The Darkverse is particularly problematic because serious crimes such as child pornography are already a big problem on the Internet. Such crimes are poorly defined from a legal standpoint and are extremely difficult for the LEA to police in the virtual space.
The high volume of e-commerce transactions in the metaverse makes them attractive to criminals looking to steal money and digital assets. In the Metaverse, a new digital economy (using Bitcoin, Ethereum, cash, PayPal, e-Transfer, etc.) will operate, and exchange rates will be controlled by a free (and possibly chaotic) market. This makes it an easy target for criminals looking to manipulate the market. A company that exists only in the metaverse does not belong to any jurisdiction and may be able to avoid income tax. Metaverse investors may also be victims of investment and securities fraud. Moreover, the entwined system of digital currencies, digital assets, and fiat money is at risk of triggering a crash similar to that of the Terra/Luna cryptocurrency in 2022 .
Digital currencies are convenient for receiving funds, but publishers face complex financial issues, possibly at a regulatory level, when users are scammed or transaction issues arise. If a user is scammed or stolen, it is nearly impossible to get help, prosecute, or take legal action when using a decentralized digital currency.
In the Metaverse, we can expect to artificially inflate the value of digital assets through false endorsements, promotions, and investments. For example, the value of virtual ‘land’ is highly impression dependent and can be manipulated by a variety of factors.
Social engineering is a broad term for malicious interactions between humans aimed at tricking users into making security mistakes or revealing sensitive information. Social engineering scams are more successful when scammers have more information about their targets. In the Metaverse, operators can use personal information such as gaze, body, voice, and motion tracking to conduct accurate sentiment analysis. All this data is collected and can be stolen or misused.
Criminals and nation-state actors will seek out sensitive and vulnerable groups on specific topics and try to influence them by dropping targeted stories. The metaverse is ideal for deepfakes for criminal purposes. Combining audio and video makes for a powerful voice (and manipulation tool).
Metaverse operators should also be wary of intruders who attempt to mislead Metaverse users by impersonating official avatars. In this case, deepfakes may not be necessary as the avatar’s assets can be easily harvested and replicated. If you can spoof an official avatar skin, you can infiltrate the Metaverse space and do bad things, damaging the image of the impersonated company.
Criminals can also use the metaverse to impersonate doctors and get paid for giving fake medical advice to patients. Fraud in a broader sense includes building fake news worlds and using them as VR honeypots for sensitive information gathering, or malicious advertisers selling trojanized digital products. is possible.
As the Metaverse transcends physical boundaries, people will be easily exposed to scammers from all over the world, and social engineering crimes will become more serious.
The Metaverse is the next evolutionary step in augmented, mixed and virtual reality. The Metaverse uses new technologies to provide users with a fully immersive experience, the Internet of Experiences (IoX). In the Metaverse, users have the impression of participating in real-world events.
TheMetaverse Development Servicesis a layer added to the Internet with the goal of providing transparent connectivity to any device. But it doesn’t seem like developers are heeding the advice of their decades-old predecessors and designing for security and privacy. Every effort must be made to prevent the Metaverse from becoming a rogue and dangerous space infested with criminals. Developers should incorporate technical and social safeguards from the beginning. Without such safeguards, the Metaverse could become an even more dangerous space than the current Internet : the Metaverse .
What is the prediction for the Meta metaverse? ›
Martin Armstrong. Statista insights suggest 15% of the digital economy has already shifted to the metaverse. Its reach is projected to be 700 million people worldwide by the end of the decade. This chart shows several possible scenarios for metaverse market growth between now and 2030.What are 3 major cyber threats in the metaverse? ›
- Moderation challenges. No help or support access exists in most of the metaverses. ...
- Identity. ...
- Client vulnerabilities. ...
- User-to-user communications. ...
- Data accuracy. ...
The metaverse will likely emerge as a powerful platform for commerce, featuring virtual stores, shopping centers, and even virtual real estate. As a result, we may spend most of our time attending virtual events and engaging in immersive online experiences, further intertwining our lives with the digital world.What are the threats to the metaverse? ›
New privacy and security issues will arise within these 3D worlds. As platform providers jostle for dominance, expect similar risks in the metaverse to those we've seen on social media such as phishing, pharming, impersonation, disinformation, and inroads for ransomware.What will the metaverse be in 5 years? ›
In the next five years, we expect the metaverse and automobiles to develop in tandem. In addition to the virtual drive engine, more perceptive technologies such as touch and taste could be integrated, and possibly even developing a unique transaction method via blockchain in the metaverse for the automotive industry.What is the metaverse prediction for 2030? ›
How significant could the metaverse's impact be? It could be worth $5 trillion by 2030 and is potentially the biggest new growth opportunity for several sectors in the coming decade that include consumer packaged goods, retail, financial services, technology, manufacturing, and healthcare.What are the 4 types of cyber threats? ›
- Removable media such as flash drives.
- Brute force attack using trial and error to decode encrypted data.
- Web or email attacks.
- Unauthorized use of your organization's system privileges.
- Loss or theft of devices containing confidential information.
The challenges of Metaverse include time and space. The concept of time perception can be different if we compare the real world with a virtual environment, as users tend to be less aware of their bodies while inside the Virtual Reality.What are the biggest cyber threat? ›
- Ransomware Extortion. ...
- Cloud Third-Party Threats. ...
- Mobile Malware. ...
- Wipers and Destructive Malware. ...
- Weaponization of Legitimate Tools. ...
- Zero-Day Vulnerabilities in Supply Chains. ...
- Global Attacks on Business.
In 2023, the Metaverse is likely to grow exponentially, becoming more immersive and more expansive. With advances in technology, we are likely to see more realistic avatars—the figures that represent you in the Metaverse—that allow for more complex interactions in virtual worlds.
What year will the metaverse happen? ›
That would theoretically mean that we're not likely to be interacting in a fully-functional, fully-integrated metaverse space till 2031 – and on that timeline, it really doesn't matter what Zuckerberg's avatar looks like right now, because so much will happen as technological advancements continue to accelerate in the ...Why we should be worried about the metaverse? ›
There are several concerns about the metaverse, including virtual crimes, sexual harassment, data privacy, and inequality. Companies are already developing solutions to address these concerns.How is metaverse affecting us? ›
People will be able to learn by doing and not just passively absorbing information, diving into new topics and experiences and deepening their knowledge through 3D immersion. With the metaverse, firefighters will one day be equipped to rescue people faster.What cybercrimes are in metaverse? ›
Criminals are starting to exploit the metaverse, and there is a growing threat of potential crimes as virtual and augmented reality continues to develop. The list of possible crimes includes data theft, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, money laundering, and sexual harassment and assault.Who owns metaverse? ›
In the case of the Facebook Metaverse, it is owned by the company founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Decentraland was created by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano for a company called Metaverse Holdings Ltd., which and a number of investors own the rights to the digital universe.Can metaverse replace real world? ›
For now, the metaverse is a great way to interact with people and experience things that you would not be able to experience in real life. However, it is still too early to tell if the metaverse can truly replace real life. Only time will tell.Why will metaverse fail? ›
Metaverse lacks maturity
The VR and AR aspects clearly lack maturity which is demonstrated through Mark's recent announcement, 'Meta has been able to develop legs for their avatars'. The legs were actually animated in the demo.
By 2040 the metaverse WILL be a much-more-refined and truly fully-immersive, well-functioning aspect of daily life for a half billion or more people globally.Will humans live in the metaverse in the future? ›
By 2030, we could be spending more time in the metaverse than in the real world. People will be applying for jobs, earning a living, meeting with friends, shopping, even getting married using the virtual capabilities of the metaverse.How long until we live in the metaverse? ›
The technologies are not yet advanced enough to make a full version of the metaverse, but Meta Platforms predicts that they will be within 5 to 15 years from now. A sort of complete metaverse could therefore arrive between 2025 and 2035.
What are the 8 common cyber threats? ›
- Ransomware. Ransomware is malware designed to use encryption to force the target of the attack to pay a ransom demand. ...
- Malware. ...
- Fileless Attacks. ...
- Phishing. ...
- Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack. ...
- Malicious Apps. ...
- Denial of Service Attack. ...
- Zero-Day Exploit.
- Network Security. Most attacks occur over the network, and network security solutions are designed to identify and block these attacks. ...
- Cloud Security. ...
- Endpoint Security. ...
- Mobile Security. ...
- IoT Security. ...
- Application Security. ...
- Zero Trust.
According to Bloomberg, the Metaverse's economic projections could reach 800 billion by 2025 and 2.5 trillion by 2030. As a result, the Metaverse appears to be the future universe. Big companies are eager to invest heavily in new technology.What is the metaverse in simple words? ›
The metaverse is a vision of what many in the computer industry believe is the next iteration of the internet: a single, shared, immersive, persistent, 3D virtual space where humans experience life in ways they could not in the physical world.Why is metaverse so important? ›
Representing yourself graphically and accurately online might be attractive to many. More importantly, the metaverse can eventually allow people to interact around the globe in a largely physically realistic virtual environment.What are the top 5 emerging cyber security challenges? ›
- Ransomware Attack.
- IoT Attacks.
- Cloud Attacks.
- Phishing Attacks.
- Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Attacks.
- Mobile Banking Malware.
- AI Attacks.
- Insider Attacks.
- Malware-based attacks.
- Phishing attacks.
- Man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Denial of Service attacks.
- SQL injection attacks.
- DNS tunneling.
- Zero-day exploits.
- Password attacks.
Malware is the most common type of cyberattack, mostly because this term encompasses many subsets such as ransomware, trojans, spyware, viruses, worms, keyloggers, bots, cryptojacking, and any other type of malware attack that leverages software in a malicious way.Is the metaverse going to happen? ›
In the metaverse, our digital lives increasingly will involve immersive media that appears all around us and is experienced in the first-person. Regardless of Meta's fate, the metaverse is inevitable because the human organism evolved to understand our world through first-person experiences in spatial environments.How big will the metaverse be by 2025? ›
As the metaverse continues to grow and expand to more regions of the world, growing consumer and business interest in the highly-talked-about virtual space to enhance everyday tasks is expected to fuel a $1 trillion commerce opportunity by the end of 2025.
Who uses the metaverse? ›
Microsoft. Microsoft has made headway in the metaverse space by providing a business function that builds on Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Mesh allows people to meet virtually through avatars—or, in the future, holograms—to attend events, meetings and conferences.What is the use of Web3 in metaverse? ›
Web3 is the latest iteration of the internet, focusing on the creation of a decentralized web. In contrast, the metaverse is a concept that seeks to combine the physical and virtual worlds, combining virtually augmented physical reality with physically persistent virtual spaces.When did the hype of metaverse start? ›
Remember the metaverse? The technology was the subject of a hype explosion, beginning in late 2021, when the company formerly known as Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, made a big investment in virtual reality and augmented reality.How many technology layers are needed to create the metaverse? ›
According to the popular author and entrepreneur Jon Radoff, who has extensively been writing on Web3 and related topics, the metaverse has seven core layers.What will replace the internet? ›
Metaverse, or the meta-world, or X-verse, or whatever it will be finally called, is the new world of virtual reality and augmented reality that will replace the internet as we know it.How much will the metaverse be worth in 2024? ›
The metaverse – an immersive, interoperable and synchronous digital world – represents the next era in the internet's development. While its precise definition is still being debated, the metaverse is already forecast to become an $800 billion market in 2024.Who invented metaverse? ›
1992 -- American sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson coins the term metaverse in his book Snow Crash, which depicts dystopian future world where rich people escape into an alternative 3D, connected reality.What problems will metaverse solve? ›
Common standards and protocols that bring together disparate virtual worlds and augmented reality into a single open metaverse can help people work together and reduce duplication of effort.What is the biggest concern about Meta? ›
The biggest concern with Meta is privacy.Is Facebook now a metaverse? ›
Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would change its name to Meta and go all in on building a future version of the internet called the “metaverse,” proving to all in the process that the company he launched in 2004 was more than just a social media business.
Is the metaverse good or bad? ›
The metaverse may be more dangerous than social media because it's exponentially more stimulating and therefore more addictive. After all, if you can be in an infinitely stimulating environment all the time, why bother with the real world at all? The metaverse is also bad for your physical health.How will metaverse impact everyday life? ›
Therefore, a virtual world like the metaverse has the potential to change how businesses and individuals view and use technology. 1. Education: Using virtual reality headsets, students and teachers may connect in the digital world regardless of where they are in the physical world.Why is metaverse bad for the environment? ›
However, it has its downsides. According to Data Quest, analysts are worried the metaverse could lead to an influx of greenhouse gas emissions. Virtual reality technology and data centers use AI and cloud services, which require quite large amounts of energy.What is the warning about metaverse? ›
According to a recent Interpol warning, hackers might use the metaverse to aid several more dangerous types of cybercrime and facilitate crime in the physical world.How to be safe in the metaverse? ›
To be safe, the metaverse must include lots of voices
Market forces will also be a determinant. But importantly, proactive self-scrutiny, and coming together as an industry – as a true ecosystem – is how we will succeed in building a metaverse for good.
The Metaverse industry in United States is expected to grow by 44.1% on an annual basis to reach US$51,435.7 million in 2023. The Metaverse industry is expected to grow steadily over the forecast period, recording a CAGR of 32.9% during 2023-2030.What will the metaverse be worth in 2025? ›
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|Year||Price in the middle of the year||Price at the end of the year|
That would theoretically mean that we're not likely to be interacting in a fully-functional, fully-integrated metaverse space till 2031 – and on that timeline, it really doesn't matter what Zuckerberg's avatar looks like right now, because so much will happen as technological advancements continue to accelerate in the ...Will metaverse replace real life? ›
For now, the metaverse is a great way to interact with people and experience things that you would not be able to experience in real life. However, it is still too early to tell if the metaverse can truly replace real life.
Will metaverse become reality? ›
Over the next few years, the metaverse is expected to manifest itself primarily through virtual reality – an alternative, digital world that can be used for a variety of personal and enterprise purposes.How expensive will metaverse be? ›
The development cost of a Metaverse can vary from $10,000 to $400,000 based on several cost factors. Hardware- To teleport users into the virtual world the medium needed is a VR headset. Apart from VR headsets, smartphones, laptops, and PCs can also serve as the medium to enter the virtual realm.How much will metaverse land be worth? ›
The deal was announced on May 22, 2022. The average price among the top 10 metaverse deals is $2.06 million, enough to buy a below-average real-world home in places like Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, or Malibu.What is meta 10 year prediction? ›
Long-term projections have Meta at $272 by the end of 2022 and $360 by the end of 2023. Meta stock will hit $470 in 2025, $580 in 2027, and $765 in 2030, with further gains expected thereafter.How high will meta go? ›
Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META)
The 49 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Meta Platforms Inc have a median target of 280.00, with a high estimate of 350.00 and a low estimate of 100.00. The median estimate represents a +20.26% increase from the last price of 232.82.
We expect second quarter 2023 total revenue to be in the range of $29.5-32 billion. Our guidance assumes foreign currency headwinds will be less than 1% to year-over-year total revenue growth in the second quarter, based on current exchange rates.