In a recent report, Interpol has underscored the emerging challenges and threats identified with Meta-crimes within the rapidly growing world of the Metaverse. The analysis cut into concerns ranging from grooming and radicalization to cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure, virtual property theft, and crimes against avatars.
- Interpol has drawn the attention of users to the rise of Meta-crimes in the Metaverse.
- The report points out prevalent crimes such as cyber-physical attacks against critical infrastructures, as well as 3D virtual/cultural property theft, trespassing in private virtual spaces and robbery from an avatar.
- The report stated the importance of understanding the Metaverse technology for first responders.
Rise of crime in the Metaverse
Interpol has brought to attention the hurdles faced by law enforcement, citing the absence of standardization, interoperability, and the intricate multi-jurisdictional nature of virtual worlds. Investigating crimes within the Metaverse is further complicated due to the accessibility of the virtual environment through diverse devices and systems.
A primary challenge outlined in the report is concerned with the paucity of physical evidence in virtual crime scenes. Investigators often grapple with digital interactions involving virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are receptive to disappearance or alteration.
Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol, commenting on the issues said, ‘The rise of powerful technology such as the Metaverse is making the criminal landscape increasingly complex and transnational posing new challenges for law enforcement’.
Opportunities to cub Meta-crimes
However, despite the alarming challenges outlined, the report pinpoints potential opportunities for law enforcement within the Metaverse space, which include using advanced simulation, virtual crime scene preservation techniques, and immersive training methods.
“We are seeing the Metaverse and artificial intelligence provide new opportunities for criminal activities, for which the world is not fully prepared. Interpol remains committed to being the voice of the global law enforcement community to ensure safety and security of the virtual world” Stock added.
The report calls for the importance of understanding Metaverse technology for first responders, digital forensic specialists, and the judicial system to ensure the safety and security of individual rights and the virtual space.
According to Interpol, the goal of this alert is to ensure that its member countries are aware of the opportunities and challenges that this new technology offers. They also hope to see to it that the law enforcement agencies are trained and equipped with the tools necessary to help solve metaverse related crimes.
Interpol is not the first to issue warnings related to these crimes. Last year, the FBI released a public announcement warning users about NFT scammers, releasing safety measures to boycott these crimes..