Since head-mounted AR displays first appeared in the 1960s, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have become increasingly prominent. We talked about the role of AR/VR in the metaverse – a huge shareable virtual world created by the convergence of the internet, AR and VR. Now is the time for businesses to start looking at cybersecurity in the AR-VR world to prevent any potential cybersecurity breaches. While these technologies are constantly evolving, so are the risks associated with cybersecurity. Let Tech Town learn about those issues in this article.
Augmented reality privacy and security issues
One of the biggest dangers of augmented reality is that it has to do with privacy. User privacy is at risk because AR technology can know what the user is doing. AR collects a lot of information about who the user is and what they are doing, even to a much larger extent, for example, social media networks or other forms of technology. This raises concerns and questions such as:
- If a hacker gains access to a device, is the potential loss of privacy huge?
- How do AR companies use and secure the information they collect from users?
- Where do companies store AR data – locally on the device or in the cloud? If information is sent to a cloud, is it encrypted?
- Do AR companies share this data with third parties? If so, how do they use it?
The AR browser facilitates augmented reality experiences, but the content is often created and distributed by third-party vendors and applications. This raises the question of unreliability, as AR is a relatively new market, its authenticated content creation and delivery mechanisms are still evolving. Sophisticated hackers can replace the user’s AR with one of their own to mislead or provide false information.
Various cyberthreats can make content unreliable even if the source is authentic. These include tampering, eavesdropping, and data manipulation.
Due to potentially unreliable content, AR systems can be an effective tool to deceive users as part of social engineering attacks. For example, hackers can distort a user’s perception of reality through fake signs or screens to lead them to take actions that benefit them.
AR hackers can embed malicious content into apps through ads. A gullible user can click on ads that lead to malware-infected websites or AR servers containing untrusted images that undermine AR security.
Criminals can steal network credentials on wearable devices running Android. For retailers using VR and AR shopping apps, getting hacked can be a big threat. Many customers have their card details and mobile payment solutions recorded in their profiles. Hackers can hack into these accounts and drain them silently because mobile payments are a seamless process.
Denial of service
Another notable AR security attack is the denial of service. An example might involve a user working on AR and suddenly being cut off from the flow of information they were receiving. This will be especially important for professionals who use technology to perform their duties in mission-critical situations where not having access to information can have dire consequences. Another example might be a surgeon suddenly losing access to vital real-time information on their AR glasses or a driver suddenly losing the ability to see the road because of their AR windshield. they turn into black screen.
Cyber attackers can overhear communications between an AR browser and an AR provider, AR channel owner, or a third-party server. This can lead to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Hackers can gain access to users’ AR devices and record their behavior and interactions in the AR environment. They can then threaten to publicly release these recordings unless the user pays a ransom. This can have a negative impact on individuals who do not wish to make their AR interactions public.
One of the most important vulnerabilities for wearable AR devices is physical damage. Some wearables are designed to be more durable than others, but all devices have physical flaws. Keeping them active and secure – not letting someone borrow them to lose or stolen, for example – is an essential aspect of safety.
Virtual Reality Threats and Security Issues
VR security threats will be slightly different from AR because VR is limited to a closed environment and does not involve interactions with the real world. Despite that, the VR glasses cover the user’s entire field of vision, which can be dangerous if hackers take over the device. For example, they can manipulate content and cause dizziness or discomfort to users.
Concerns about VR
Similar to AR, privacy is a big concern for VR. The main VR privacy issue is the highly personal nature of the data collected – i.e. biometric data such as iris or retina scans, fingerprints and fingerprints, facial shapes and voice. Examples include:
- Finger tracking: In the virtual world, users can use hand gestures as they would in the real world, for example using their fingers to enter codes on a virtual keyboard. However, this means that the system records and transmits finger tracking data that shows the finger typing a PIN. If an attacker can capture that data, they will be able to regenerate the user’s PIN.
- Eye tracking: Some AR/VR glasses may include eye tracking. This data can provide additional value for malicious actors. Knowing exactly what a user is viewing can reveal valuable information to an attacker, which they can capture to recreate user actions.
It is nearly impossible to anonymize VR and AR tracking data because different individuals have unique movement patterns. Using behavioral and biological information gathered in the VR headset, the researchers were able to identify the user with great accuracy – which is a real problem if the VR system is hacked.
Just like zip codes, IP addresses, and fingerprints, VR and AR tracking data should be treated as “personally identifiable information” (PII), as it can be used by other parties. to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity or when combined with personal or other identifying information. This makes VR privacy a significant concern.
Attackers can also inject features into VR platforms that are designed to trick users into providing personal information. Like with AR, this facilitates extortion attacks, where malware sabotages the platform before demanding a ransom.
Impersonation or “Deepfakes”
Today’s machine learning technology allows voice and video control in a very realistic way. If hackers can access motion tracking data from VR glasses, they can use it to create digital copies (sometimes called deepfakes) and undermine VR security. They can then put this on someone else’s VR experience to perform a non-technical attack.
Aside from cybersecurity, one of the biggest dangers of virtual reality is that it completely blocks a user’s visual and auditory connection to the outside world. First, it is important to evaluate the physical safety and security of the user’s environment. This also applies to AR, where users must maintain a good awareness of their surroundings, especially in more vivid environments.
Other problems with VR that experts sometimes call negative virtual reality include:
- Potentially addictive
- Health effects – e.g. dizziness, nausea or spatial insensitivity after prolonged VR use.
- Lost connection with people.
How to reduce cybersecurity risks in an AR/VR environment
As AR and VR evolve into mainstream technologies, users must be ready to deal with cybersecurity threats that can arise for any number of reasons. Please note:
- Secure communications between devices and a centralized server that manages communications in VR/AR environments.
- Encrypt outgoing and incoming connections from AR/VR devices to maintain data privacy.
- Mandatory authentication of all communications between AR/VR devices must be ensured.
- Using a matching authentication and identification mechanism between AR/VR applications and a centralized ecosystem helps to secure communication with the main server.
- It is recommended to use data masking to secure data.
- All AR/VR apps and firmware on those devices must be additionally protected using powerful anti-virus and malware engines.
- Users must be aware of any unusual behavior of AR/VR devices, applications, and the ecosystem.
- Validating the integrity and relevance of AR/VR content is also important.
- There should be an ongoing assessment of AR/VR devices, applications, and the overall ecosystem.
As the metaverse moves to the next level with the acceleration of digital transformation, VR and AR are slowly becoming mainstream – especially in the world of interactive media. Although AR and VR have yet to achieve full relevance in today’s network environment, these technologies will eventually become ubiquitous. Therefore, individual users and businesses need to proactively manage cybersecurity threats before they lead to potential cybersecurity breaches.
Hopefully the information Tech Town brings above will be useful for businesses. If your business is looking for a reputable AR VR application development company, a team of highly qualified engineers at a reasonable cost, Tech Town is confident to become the right choice for your business.
Tech Town is a technology company from Vietnam, with representative offices in the United States, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands,… We provide AR & VR application development services for businesses, optimize content delivery with immersive technologies, enhance the performance of decentralized systems, enhance customer experience, and delight next-generation users. For more than 4 years of operation, Tech Town has become a reputable technology partner trusted by startups and enterprises from many countries around the world such as the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, the UK and other countries. other developers.
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