Friday, March 19, 2021


Author :  Nicholas Patterson

Affiliation :  Deakin University, Geelon

Country :  Australia

Category :  Computer Science & Information Technology

Volume, Issue, Month, Year :  9, 11, August, 2019

Abstract :

Virtual worlds have become highly popular in recent years with reports of over a billion people accessing these environments and the virtual goods market growing to near 50 billion US dollars. An undesirable outcome to this popularity and market value is thriving criminal activity in these worlds. The most profitable cyber security problem in virtual worlds is named Virtual Property Theft. The aim of this study is to use an online survey to gain insight into how hackers (n=100) in these synthetic worlds conduct their criminal activity. This survey is the first to report an insight into the criminal mind of hackers (virtual thieves). Results showed a clear-cut profile of a virtual property thief, they appear to be mainly aged 20-24 years of age, live in the United States of America, while using virtual worlds for 5-7 hours a day. These and the other key results of this study will provide a pathway for designing an effective anti-theft framework capable of abolishing this cyber security issue.

Keyword :  Virtual world environments, virtual property theft, cyber security, hackers, massively multiplayer online games

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