On May 27, Hong Kong Police Force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) introduced a new metaverse platform. The platform, CyberDefender, will equip citizens for the upcoming challenges in the digital era, prioritizing the prevention of technology-related crimes.

On its launch day, the platform hosted an “Exploring the Metaverse” event across three virtual venues. The public had access to the CyberDefender City and Gallery and Auditorium, designed with a Web3 theme. The event engaged in discussions about crime prevention strategies within the metaverse. 

Throughout the event, Chief Inspector Ip Cheuk-yu of CSTCB stressed the significance of exercising caution while navigating the metaverse.

Hong Kong Police launched ‘’Explore the Metaverse’’ event.
More than 120 participants joined ‘’Explore the Metaverse’’ event.

He encouraged attendees to employ the same level of alertness while using the internet. He emphasized that all types of cybercrimes could occur in the metaverse. These include investment scams, unauthorized system access, theft, and sexual offenses. 

Additionally, he elucidated that the decentralized nature of virtual assets might heighten the vulnerability to asset theft. He stated that cybercriminals might be more inclined to target end-point devices and smart contracts due to the decentralized structure. The fraudsters could also target virtual asset wallets.

“To enhance the digital literacy of the younger generation, Police will continue to organise public education initiatives on different themes through the “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform, raise awareness among teenagers regarding the latest advancements in information technology, potential pitfalls, and the importance of preventing technology crimes, as well as better preparing them to seize the opportunities in the digital age.”

Hong Kong Police Force intends to enhance its educational initiatives on technology crime, mainly targeting the younger generation. These efforts respond to a notable surge in virtual asset crime incidents reported in Hong Kong during Q1 2023.

Cybercriminals exploited the public’s limited understanding of virtual assets, enticing them into non-existent investment schemes. Their fraudulent activities resulted in substantial financial losses and social consequences. Hong Kong recorded 2,336 virtual asset-related cases in 2022, incurring a loss of $1.7 billion. 

During the first quarter of this year, the Police received 663 cases of a similar nature, leading to a total loss of $570 million. These figures represent respective 44% and 75% increases compared to the previous year’s first quarter. The majority of these cases revolved around virtual asset investments.