When information requests spike, it creates opportunities for bad actors to take advantage.
One of my observations about the 2019-nCoV situation is that people are searching for information to be better informed. This "search mentality" will invariably lead them to let their guard down on what they click on that comes in via their email system, or what they click on when searching the Web for information. Either way, they can be exposing themselves to another type of cyber-virus while trying to avoid the physical one.
See this from a news release I received today:
"The coronavirus is not only a public health risk, but also opens the door to cyberthreats. The World Health Organization has now classified the coronavirus as a global emergency. Thousands have been infected and hundreds have died.
What to Expect:
Phishing attacks and fake news campaigns (disinformation) have been launched around the globe to capitalize on the millions of people terrified and seeking more information about this public health crisis.
Victims are emailed malware-laden links and contaminated email attachments falsely offering health safety advice or the latest news on the coronavirus. The emails are designed to get the consumer to click for more information and then infect networks, recruit digital devices into botnet armies and lock up files demanding ransom."