Metaverse hacks that demand caution in 2023

Published on:

  • In April, MetaPoint became the latest victim of a Metaverse hack, resulting in a $1 million loss.
  • According to the 10th Annual Experian Data Breach Industry Forecast, the entire web3 community should get up to more Metaverse hacks in 2023.
  • Meta’s Oculus Quest2 headset outsold Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console in 2021.

The virtual reality world has ushered in a new form of interaction. Its abilities are only limited by the developer’s creativity, making the Metaverse one of the best innovations of the Web3 community. Its user interaction supports NFTs, AIs, Crypto, Smart contracts and other decentralized applications. Unfortunately, it has attracted many scammers and hackers to target users within the Metaverse. Experts have highlighted that Metaverse security systems have significantly disappointed its users and investors. The rise of VR scams and phishing in the Metaverse has significantly risen in the past decade. Unfortunately, given the latest crypto crash, we have failed to realize how dangerous and damaging Metaverse hacks truly are.

This article will highlight the several metaverse hacks that have affected an entire platform and individual user experience.

The lucrative potential of the Metaverse

Aside from being one of the high points of technology and the Web3 industry, the Metaverse offers so much potential. The entire concept of virtual reality is directly derived from science fiction, opening an entirely new wave of possibility. Corporate titans have spared no penny in ensuring its developments, significantly highlighting how big the concept of Virtual reality is.

Companies like Meta, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and other titans, have poured billions to develop servers that can handle the immense amount of information required to run, support and interact with the Metaverse. Essentially, the Metaverse is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.

It has already dominated seal industries such as the gaming and the art industry, and its endeavours in virtual real estate have shown quite the promise. According to Grayscale Investments, The Metaverse is a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity that happens once in every generation. It’s a breakthrough in technology, and its after-effects are akin to the development of the first assembly line.

Also, Read Top Metaverse real estate platforms to purchase virtual land.

When accounting for the VR hardware used, the total revenue earned by most organizations is staggering. Meta’s Oculus Quest2 headset outsold Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console in 2021. According to market research firm International Data Corporation(IDC), VR headsets are estimated to hit $36 billion by 2025.

Aside from the Metaverse’s make, it also serves as a conducive environment for cryptocurrency. All Metaverse platforms use crypto coins or native tokens as a form of payment. This significantly aids crypto adoption since it proves it can sustain, and thriving economy.

Any Metaverse platform acts as a testing ground for any digital currency. The Metaverse and digital currency have a form of co-dependency. Together, they have established a thriving economy in Virtual reality. However, this link makes the Metaverse a target for VR scams and hacks.

Metaverse Hacks plaguing the franchise

VR scams and Metaverse hacks have significantly increased in the past three years. The rise and fame of virtual reality have become its undoing, as hackers and scammers have targeted innocent VR users. Unfortunately, Metaverse and blockchain security is a working process and thus contains major loopholes within their systems. For instance, blockchain security might prevent fraud within the crypto ecosystems, but its applications vary significantly when dealing with factors such as Virtual tourism, NFTs and Virtual real estate.

Several Metaverse platforms have suffered numerous VR scams, especially when dealing with Virtual real estate. In 2022, several users became victims of VR scams when trying to purchase virtual land. Desrosiers, a user in The Sandbox, became a victim of a phishing scam in the Metaverse.

Virtual-Reality-Real-Estate
VR real estate has grown in popularity and now is a haven for VR scams.[Photo/Medium]
She had invested in a VR land with $16000 to develop a virtual educational game on human anatomy and physiology. Unfortunately, her dreams of establishing a virtual medical education game shattered in under three months. After developing her game, she noticed that several links would pop up in her virtual space, hinting that the winner still had some access to the virtual land.

Also, Read Phishing Attack and how it plagues blockchain security.

Upon clicking the link, it completely wiped the MetaMask Wallet. In another scenario, a user, Tracy Carlinsky, was a renowned online fitness instructor who used The Sandbox to distribute and host her online sessions. She initially spent $20,000 on the VR land she used, but would later suffer the same fate as Desrosiers.

Phishing in the Metaverse is an avid activity, compromising the reputation and Blockchain security of several firms. In 2022, during a brief hype of NFT artwork, several metaverse spaces received reports of Trojan artwork that redirected users to malicious sites. This caused an uproar among users, causing NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea to lose several high-end users.

VR hacking a core component of Metaverse hacks

Aside from VR and Phishing scams in the Metaverse, hacking is also a notorious plague on the VR industry. In April, MetaPoint became the latest victim of a Metaverse hack, resulting in a $1 million loss. According to reports, the attacker tole, 2515BNB from numerous user wallets. The attacker then funnelled the funds into a crypto mixer, completely removing his trail. According to investigations, the attack bypassed the Metaverse Security system and accessed one of its smart contracts.

MetaPoint-Hack
Peck Shield Alert system posted this alert on Twitter to warn the Metaverse users.[Photo/Twitter]
He then altered its functions, giving users access to the tokens without triggering its blockchain security countermeasures. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common among Metaverse security analysts. According to the 10th Annual Experian Data Breach Industry Forecast, the entire web3 community should get up to more Metaverse hacks in 2023. The documentation further elaborates how the heavy use of NFT in the Metaverse might be the primary cause of VR scams and hacks.

The undefined laws of the web3 ecosystem have inevitably given power to Metaverse Hacks and even legitimate developers. The concept of rug pull is a common scenario in the crypto industry. In a nutshell, it occurs when a developer pulls back on developing an NFT or a crypto token they previously announced.

Early investors suffer heavily from rug pulls, showcasing how lenient our rules and regulations in the web3 community are. To worsen the situation, experts have determined that Metaverse hacks can occur via the hardware used to access a virtual reality. Blockchain security experts could access and take over a user’s VR headsets and attach any third-party software within the devices. 

Also, Read about The vulnerabilities plaguing Metaverse security.

Furthermore, they bypassed metaverse security measures to access a VR room without authorization. LSU cybersecurity Professor Abe Baggili, who conducted the experiments, revealed how dangerous Metaverse hacks are. To add to his discovery of the “virtual invisible peeping Tom” he said, “No one would expect an invisible intruder in their real living room, watching their activities and every move. This intrusion can disturb people’s privacy on a very personal level.”

Conclusion

The notion of VR scams and phishing in the Metaverse is a scary revelation to low-quality blockchain and Metaverse security. Metaverse hacks might pose a threat, but many organizations have taken drastic measures to prevent similar scenarios.

Today, several platforms heavily monitor any VR real estate transaction. Furthermore, experts ensure that once a transaction is complete, the smart contract changes its ownership. Despite this, numerous platforms have cautioned users to take personal accountability and safeguard their wallets from VR scams. It is only through educating users and improving Metaverse security can we truly be safe from cyber predators.

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Ken Mutuku
Ken Mutuku
I am an enthusiastic writer who believes that facts, knowledge and opinions can be expressed vividly with just a few words. I think that all forms of writing achieve this; hence I have a wide area of expertise and interest, such as cryptocurrency, psychology and the human mind.