What risks can arise with the new phase of the Internet?

“Web 3.0” or “Web3” is what experts call the new phase of the World Wide Web. We are at the very beginning of that: a more decentralized Internet, with faster and more personalized information storage. Among other features, it will use a lot of artificial intelligence and blockchain, the core technology of cryptocurrencies.

However, with this greater and more “uncontrolled” flow of information, experts point to greater risks in the confidentiality and reliability of sensitive data.

Below, discover the seven challenges of this not-so-distant future:

1) Lack of identification of what is real or fake

Marcelo Nagy, professor of computer forensics at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, warns that there are already problems with the reputation of publications on the current Internet, thanks to fake news, also known as fake news.

With decentralized information to compile a topic view, it is difficult to identify who will be responsible for the information displayed, which may be fake news or real information.

It is necessary to understand that fake news is growing due to partial viewing of the news. Therefore, the way data is used increases the problems with information originating from different places and spreading over the Internet.

2) Theft of electricity for “mining farms”

Marcos Antonio Simplicio Jr., a cybersecurity expert at the Department of Computer Engineering and Digital Systems at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, says the decentralized Internet leads to “unusual” criminal activity.

An example is the theft of electricity for use in cryptocurrency mining activities, as this is one of the main costs of a miner’s operation. There are cases of groups that had such large energy expenditures that they exceeded their own profits in cryptocurrencies obtained during that period.

In addition to stealing directly from distributors, criminal miners also use hacking techniques on other people’s machines to install malware. Thus, they “steal” computer resources and energy from victims’ computers, an activity known as “cryptojacking”.

3) Diversification and increase in cryptocurrency crime

According to Simplício, cases of computer intrusions to steal user keys or encrypt data and demand ransom in cryptocurrencies (the notorious “data hijackers” or “ransomwares”) may increase.

It is possible that fraudsters attack cryptocurrency portfolio management platforms (“exchanges”), seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the very protocols used by cryptocurrencies.

They can also increase traditional fraud schemes that use cryptocurrencies only as an excuse to defraud users, such as exchange shells, pyramid schemes, among others.

4) Misinformed artificial intelligence

Since the advent of artificial intelligence, cases of misinterpretation have been observed. Within Web 3.0, this can happen more clearly. That being said, it is important for people to know whether the information is being collected by humans or robots.

Complex artificial intelligence systems (which are the foundation of Web 3.0) are at risk of learning the wrong way and further fueling the cycle of misinformation. The work of professionals in the field of information security can become a real struggle, a struggle to block pages, links and databases that spread this “poison” on the Internet.

5) Dependence on the availability of information

Jean Martina, specialist in digital security, with a master’s degree from the Federal University of Santa Catarina and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, points out that the sharing of information, which takes place behind the scenes of the system, makes some services extremely dependent on others to function.

In this way, the availability of data in the systems eventually becomes a problem.

6) Permanent leakage of information

According to Martina, the avalanche of information generated makes it difficult to determine the correct security settings for each situation. If there is a classification that is not appropriate for a particular piece of data, it may leak irresponsibly. The damage will become more permanent than expected if the leak reaches long-term archiving systems or public environments.

There are intelligent systems that learn from instructions found on the Internet and confidential information, which could be accidentally indexed and spread without authorization, in violation of several laws, such as the LGPD (General Data Protection Law).

7) Complexity of content removal

Getting content off the air, even with a court order, will be a tough road. Data will be decentralized and artificial intelligence systems will learn from each other, so prompting one institution to remove content that is hateful, defamatory or even deemed inappropriate by the judiciary will be virtually impossible.

“Air removal is an extremely complex matter, as there is no way to know if all copies have been effectively deleted. There are Dark Web forums [formado de sites que não são indexados em mecanismos de buscas] which keep the information indexed so that it does not appear in conventional indexers,” explains Martina.

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