But virtually every one of these components also presents significant risks of malicious exploitation. Some of the threats that stand out immediately include fraud, money laundering, child exploitation, disinformation, and cyber attacks, to name a few. That the virtual world that Zuckerberg wants to invent can open up this Pandora’s box of deviant digitization should come as no surprise. In fact, the Metaverse was literally born out of criminal vanity: Stephenson used the Metaverse as the backdrop for the plot of his breakout novel, Snow accident, in which an assaulted hacker hero and pizza delivery man navigates a dystopian world merged with virtual reality to unravel the mystery behind the designer drug after which he named his book.
A year ago, Dr David Utzke, who is now senior director of crypto technology at Mastercard, began warning about the emergence of a malicious metaverse with his former employer, the IRS Criminal Headquarters. Cybercrime investigations. His concerns have only grown since then: “Companies like Facebook, now Meta, Microsoft, Roblox and Epic are all planning their version of the Metaverse,” Utzke said. The New Republic. “But this concept, a term coined by Neal Stephenson… is the idea of a singular environment based on virtual reality with the idea of escaping reality, much like what was described in the film version of the novel Loan Player One.“
“Because this environment is absolutely unmonitored, just like today’s AR / VR environments, terrorists, cartels and other malicious actors have the ability to act on real world events,” Utzke said. “It’s just the tip of the spear.”
While several media experts have disparaged the company formerly known as the backbone of Facebook, it is not the only company preparing to caving in virtual worlds. Microsoft is also plunging into the metaverse, according to company press Release
and accompanying marketing video. Unlike Meta, which seems to prioritize social connectivity, games, and entertainment, Microsoft is focused on finalizing its vision of the metaverse for enterprise use cases involving “collaborative and shared holographic experiences, with Microsoft Teams Productivity Tools ”.