Got an email about the Wuhan coronavirus? It could be a computer virus.

Cyber criminals are making use of the Wuhan coronavirus situation to conduct malicious activities, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT) warned on Friday (Jan 31).

In an alert on its website, SingCERT said that such criminals would send emails and messages enticing users to open malicious attachments by offering information relating to the outbreak of the deadly virus.

SingCERT said the malicious files could be masked under the guise of links, PDF, MP4 or Docx files with link or file names associated with the coronavirus situation, such as how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat or virus detection procedures.

These files could host a range of threats from Trojans to worms, which are capable of destroying, blocking, modifying or copying data, as well as interfering with the operation of computers or computer networks, when users click on the links or open the attachments.

Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky also warned of the threat of cyber activities riding on coronavirus fears.

In a press release on Friday, Kaspersky malware analyst Anton Ivanov said: “The coronavirus, which is being widely discussed as a major news story, has already been used as bait by cybercriminals."

Users are reminded not to click on links or open attachments found in suspicious-looking emails or messages, and should refer to official sources such as the Ministry of Health's website for the latest information on the situation.