- The Hong Kong Police Force plans to ramp up its tech crime educational initiatives, for “the younger generation,”
- To enhance the digital literacy of the younger generation, the Police plans to organise public educational initiatives through CyberDefender Metaverse platform.
The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Hong Kong Police Force has introduced a metaverse platform called CyberDefender.
The aim of this platform is to educate the public about the potential risks and opportunities associated with Web3 and the emerging concept of the metaverse. In an official statement released on May 27, the CSTCB emphasized the importance of preparing citizens for the challenges brought by the digital age, with a specific focus on technology crime prevention.
The CyberDefender Metaverse platform includes various virtual venues designed to engage users in an immersive learning experience. Among these venues are CyberDefender City, Gallery, and Auditorium, where individuals can explore and familiarize themselves with the metaverse.
The first online event hosted on the platform, titled “Exploring the Metaverse,” attracted over 120 participants, including teenagers, parents, and teachers. The event aimed to discuss cybercrime prevention measures within the metaverse and shed light on career prospects in the non-fungible token (NFT) industry.
During the event, Chief Inspector of the CSTCB, Mr. Ip Cheuk-yu, highlighted the need for caution in the metaverse, urging attendees to exercise the same level of vigilance practiced while using the internet.
He emphasized that all types of crimes that occur in cyberspace can also manifest in the metaverse, including investment frauds, unauthorized access to systems, theft, and sexual offenses. Mr. Ip further pointed out that the decentralized nature of virtual assets in Web3 could potentially increase 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
Recent statistics revealed the alarming impact of virtual asset-related crimes in Hong Kong. In 2022, the city recorded 2,336 cases involving virtual assets, resulting in a staggering loss of $1.7 billion. The first quarter of 2023 alone saw an increase of 44% in the number of cases (663 cases) and a 75% increase in total losses ($570 million) compared to the same period last year.
The majority of these cases were related to virtual asset investment, exploiting the public’s lack of knowledge and luring them into non-existent scam investment schemes.