Metaverse has been the subject of endless discussion and attention in the tech world since giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Magic Leap announced their rebranding as Meta.
In short, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality brought together under one umbrella can be called Metaverse. The current discussion among big tech experts is about how many billion dollars Metaverse will achieve by 2025.
The word metaverse comes from the words meta + universe, which means beyond the universe. We can describe the metaverse as a virtual reality simulation that can use for many purposes, from entertainment and social networking to education and business. Metaverse is a 3D virtual world created and maintained by users that can be explored and interacted with just like the physical world and a social connection that connects the entire universe through the internet.
Users in the Metaverse are represented by digital avatars, which enable participants to engage in various activities in the virtual world. Some metaspaces are a replica of existing real items, while others are fantasy realities that allow users to explore their imaginations.
They offer a different, unique, and immersive experience than anything else on the internet. They are constantly developing and evolving, and offer endless possibilities for exploration and interaction.
As good as it is, it has its drawbacks. As the term metaverse is discussed, two other things taken up are the vulnerabilities of the metaverse and its solutions. Continue reading this blog to know more about Metaverse.
Vulnerabilities on the Metaverse
Being the latest trend, the metaverse is the best target of cyber attacks. High levels of interaction demand accountability from both developers and users. The growing number of cyber-attacks is a significant concern for many sectors, including the upcoming NFT (Non-Fungible Token) marketplace.
The technologies used to power Metaverse platforms have some significant risks of their own. The two most popular technologies driving the Metaverse are AR and VR, which offer an interface for the Metaverse. On the other hand, the security and privacy concerns associated with these technologies will affect the Metaverse.
Let’s take a look at the prominent Metaverse security risks that are hindering the growth of the Metaverse platform.
Security risks associated with Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is a founding pillar of Metaverse and new AR developments are certainly exciting. New AR advances can provide new tools and approaches for collecting data. At the same time, augmented reality offers many new opportunities to transform the relationship between the real and virtual worlds.
- What will be the result to users’ privacy if hackers compromise an AR device?
- How will AR organizations use and protect data collected from users?
- Where do businesses store AR data and what are the encryption methods followed for it?
- Do AR companies share AR data with third parties and for what purposes?
All of this calls into question the blockchain security of Metaverse. Security threats to blockchain include social engineering attacks, credential theft, and denial of service. Let us see each one by one.
Social Engineering Attacks
Like people in the real world, users on metaverse must validate voice, video recordings, and facial features using digital avatars. People interact with each other through AR and VR devices. Hackers can trick people into revealing their personal information using social engineering techniques or identity theft tactics.
Identifying theft is one of the biggest challenges you can face right now. Anyone with access to your network credentials can easily discover your identity on metaverse. Wearable gadgets can compromise users’ network credentials to hackers or criminals.
Hacking is one of the critical concerns for retailers using shopping apps based on VR and AR technologies. Theft of network credentials can also compromise financial and personal information.
Security risks associated with Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality, or VR, is also a culprit for many notable privacy issues in the metaverse. What Makes VR a vulnerable target in the metaverse? Data obtained through VR technology, such as biometric data in fingerprints, retina scans, voice prints, and facial geometry, leads to many privacy concerns associated with virtual reality.
The most significant privacy risks associated with metaverse due to VR technologies include ransomware, identity theft, and loss of human connection. Let’s see them one by one.
The VR technologies that power the Metaverse serve as a vulnerable target for identity theft in the Metaverse. Various machine learning algorithms can help manipulate sounds and visuals to make them sound authentic. Hackers can use digital duplicates to overlap with another person’s VR experience to conduct social engineering attacks.
Ransomware is said to be the next security risk on the rise due to VR. Hackers may include functionalities in VR platforms that trick users into revealing their personal information. Like social engineering attacks using AR, hackers can use VR vulnerabilities in the metaverse for ransomware attacks. Hostile agents can easily compromise the VR devices used to access the metaverse and the users’ experience.
Reduced Perception of Physical Space
Another powerful entry among the metaverse challenges beyond privacy is the loss of connection to the real world. The engaging and highly immersive experiences in the metaverse facilitated by VR technologies serve as a major highlight of metaverse popularity.
VR cuts a person off from the real world for a certain period. Users immersed in VR experiences have no audio-visual connection to the real world. As a result, security concerns in the metaverse due to VR extend to concerns about physical security in the user’s environment.
Possible Solutions for the Security Risks of Metaverse
Security measures against hackers are something that both developers and participants strive for. They take security measures to protect themselves and the virtual spaces against existing attacks. However, hackers continue their work.
User privacy, data usage ethics and security, and biometric data are among the advocates currently seeking protection in the metaverse. However, the available protection system may not effectively prevent new attacks that have not been experienced before. Other disruptive factors include social engineering attacks and identity theft.
It’s time for metaverse users to protect themselves from such scams and analyze what kind of security measures are in place to protect metaverse from such a problem.
Since users’ data on metaverse platforms are stored on various servers around the world, it is essential to have a proper mechanism to protect the information from unwanted third parties.
Another major structure to be implemented is the creation of new personal data and privacy protection practices. This may involve providing users with more personal data during the verification process and developers upgrading security systems.
Another best practice we can use to protect against these scams is to introduce controls to help control the activities within the metabase.
The best approach to ensure security is to create guidelines that help the upcoming projects and will be easy for participants to prepare against hacks and other cyber-attacks in the metaverse.