Fraud Prevention

How Attackers Target the Metaverse

June, 1, 20224 min Read

The metaverse is the growing digital realm that uses augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, social media, and a host of other technologies to create a vast virtual world. Companies looking to invest in the metaverse should fortify defenses, especially at login, registrations, and in-platforms to protect consumers’ account security

The last couple of years saw the emergence of the metaverse with leading brands putting in efforts to build a virtual future – complete with augmented reality and virtual reality. It refers to the next-generation platforms in the virtual realm that encompass our daily lives and go beyond eCommerce to education, work, entertainment, socializing, and much more. These next-generation virtual platforms will take all these activities a notch higher with greater consumer engagement and profit potential. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, metaverse could be a market worth $800 billion by 2024.

Data is a Double-edged Sword

As more and more consumers engage in activities in this metaverse, there will be a further explosion in the amount of data being created – and leaked. Add to this the data from IoT smart devices, self-driven automobiles, always on mobile phones, virtual reality devices, and we are dealing with zettabytes of data already!

This data is valuable as it enables businesses to sharpen their go-to-market techniques, personalize customer offerings, build customer relationships, and fight fraud. However, with an attack surface, bigger than ever before, attackers will have many more opportunities to attack and many more touchpoints to exploit. When attackers gain access to this same data, it can be catastrophic; businesses can expect more frequent and complex attacks.

Metaverse Companies, a Prime Target for Master Fraudsters

The dramatic rise of metaverse and virtual worlds will further increase consumer touchpoints and expand the attack vectors, providing bad actors with a wide horizon to attack.

By virtue of working with many metaverse pioneers, Arkose Labs is fortunate to gain early insights into the types of attacks targeting the virtual worlds. The top threats in the metaverse world include scams, microtransaction abuse, and unfair play.

This should set the alarm bells ringing for digital businesses, especially companies looking to invest in metaverse, as they in particular, will face an elevated risk from ‘master fraudsters.’ These are the most persistent attackers who can go to great extent to execute an attack. They can mobilize resources, script together multiple tools, use human click farms, and are more willing to invest additional capital to bypass a single workflow.

Fortify Defenses at Logins, New Registrations, and In-platform

During Q4 2021, metaverse companies experienced 40% more bot-driven attacks and 40% more human-driven attacks. The stakes continue to rise with master fraudsters increasingly targeting metaverse companies and virtual environments. For companies considering investing in the metaverse, Arkose Labs recommends fortifying defenses, especially at login, registrations, and in-platforms to protect digital identities and ensure consumers’ account security in a highly volatile virtual world.

Digital accounts and digital identities are the mainstays of the virtual world, as they have become an extension of consumers’ physical selves in the digital realm. New account fraud and hacking into genuine consumer accounts through account takeover attacks can cause both financial and reputational losses to businesses. In Q1 2022, one in every four new accounts created was fake and there was a 250% increase in scraping attacks QoQ.

Attackers rely on automation for speed, scale, and profitability. In Q1 2022, 93% of all attacks were bot-driven. The scale and sophistication of these attacks is rapidly increasing with bots attaining more human-like capabilities, which allows them to not only mimic human behavior but also bypass defenses with greater accuracy. 

Fraud Prevention in the Rising Metaverse

Fraud prevention needs a fresh approach.When the virtual world is taking rapid strides forward with attack techniques becoming strategic and targeted, businesses and digital platforms will need to keep in step with upgraded fraud and security defense tactics. What worked in the past may no longer suffice in this new digital order. Businesses must quickly adapt to the ever-evolving attack tactics for superior identity proofing and protecting multiple touchpoints.

Arkose Labs’ latest Fraud Report delves deep into the attack trends for the rising metaverse and how we can together make the digital world – now and in the future – safe for all. Request a copy of the report here.