The UK has seen a rise in the number of cases of children being sent text messages containing malware by social media giants, it has been revealed.
An investigation into the rise has found that more than half of the children sent texts containing malware contained malicious software from the social media site VK.com, which was bought by Microsoft in January.
The UK-based social media company’s share price dropped by 10% after it was reported to have made a £1bn deal to buy WhatsApp, which has a similar product.
Facebook was also found to be in breach of a code of conduct set out by UK regulators, which it has since removed from the company’s website.
But the investigation found that the majority of the texts sent by children contained malicious code, including spamming of social media accounts to “lure” victims.
The report also found that around 40% of the spam messages that children sent contained the virus CryptoLocker.
It also found an increase in the amount of messages being sent by young children and young adults to friends, as well as other messages sent via WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
The study by University of Cambridge researchers found that in the UK, around 5% of children were sending texts to their friends that contained malware and around 7% of messages contained malware.
In the US, 3% of young children sent messages containing the virus and 2% of their messages contained malicious text.
“Our findings show that the volume of children using social media to send messages is rising and is a reflection of the growing amount of content and content types being sent online,” Professor Richard Waugh, who led the research, said in a statement.
We need to ensure that children are not being misled by messages they receive.” “
While some messages are benign, others are not.
We need to ensure that children are not being misled by messages they receive.”
The report comes as social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook are embroiled in a battle to retain their user bases.
A recent poll by research firm GfK found that nearly half of British adults say they have been affected by spam on social media.
A new report by researchers at Cambridge University has found the rise in spam is driven by two key factors.
Firstly, many young people are beginning to take advantage of social networking services to spam messages and text messages, as their older friends have been removed from social networks.
Secondly, the increasing number of malicious text messages being forwarded by users to other users has led to a large increase in spam.
A study from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), last year also found there was a significant increase in users sending spam via social media, with some users sending messages containing more than 300 different viruses.
A similar study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) also found the number and type of messages sent by teenagers in the US to their parents, a significant part of which contained spam.
The researchers say that these messages have been used by child predators to “recruit” children and send spam messages, in order to attract them to their homes.
“This spamming campaign may also serve to generate revenue for cybercriminals and recruit children,” the researchers write.
In an interview with Wired UK, Microsoft’s senior vice president for security and privacy, Brian Krebs, said that “there’s a very large amount of spam on Twitter and Instagram.”
“In fact, the volume is much greater than any other social network, even LinkedIn,” he added.
Microsoft has since apologised for its spamming practices and promised to remove all spam from its platforms.
Facebook, which is also embroiled in controversy over its handling of the spread of a virus, is also under fire, with the company having to remove the “offensive” content from its social media platform.