ClickCease Alert: Polish Institutions Targeted By APT28 Malware Attack

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Alert: Polish Institutions Targeted By APT28 Malware Attack

Wajahat Raja

May 23, 2024 - TuxCare expert team

Recent events have brought to light a concerning revelation: Polish government institutions have fallen victim to a sophisticated malware campaign orchestrated by a notorious cyber threat group known as APT28 malware attack. This Russia-linked entity has deployed a series of targeted attacks aimed at infiltrating sensitive systems within the Polish government.

The Malicious Modus Operandi of APT28 Malware Attack


APT28 targets Poland, posing a significant cybersecurity threat to the nation. The modus operandi of the APT28 malware attack begins with the distribution of spear phishing emails designed to lure unsuspecting recipients into clicking on malicious links. Upon clicking, victims are redirected to seemingly innocuous domains like run.mocky[.]io, which serves as a gateway to further exploitation. These redirection tactics are orchestrated to evade detection, with the ultimate goal of compromising the target’s system.

The subsequent stage involves the download of a disguised ZIP archive file containing malicious payloads, including a Windows Calculator binary masquerading as a JPG image file. This deceptive tactic aims to deceive users into executing malicious files under the guise of harmless image files. Additionally, hidden batch scripts and DLL files are deployed to facilitate the execution of malicious operations on the compromised system.

APT28 Malware Attack – Masking Malicious Activities


To maintain the illusion of legitimacy, the APT28 malware attack employs clever techniques such as DLL side-loading to execute malicious batch scripts while simultaneously displaying benign content, such as images of individuals on social media platforms, within web browsers. This deceptive facade serves to distract victims from the true intent of the attack, which is to exfiltrate sensitive information from compromised systems.

Leveraging Legitimate Services – A Tactical Evasion Strategy


APT28’s strategic use of legitimate services like Mocky and webhook[.]site further complicates detection efforts, as these services are often overlooked by traditional security measures. By leveraging these platforms, the threat actors aim to bypass security controls and evade detection, thus increasing the efficacy of their malicious operations.


Defending Against APT28


Kremlin-linked cyberattacks continue to pose a significant threat to global cybersecurity. In light of these developments, it is imperative for organizations to take proactive measures to safeguard against such cyber threats. 

CERT Polska advises organizations to consider blocking domains associated with malicious activities on edge devices, regardless of their use of specific services mentioned in the attack chain. Additionally, implementing email filtering mechanisms to detect and block suspicious links can help mitigate the risk of falling victim to similar nation-state cyberattacks.

APT28’s Expanding Arsenal – Targeting Beyond Borders


Polish cybersecurity solutions are gaining recognition for their effectiveness in combating cyber threats. However, the threat posed by APT28 malware attack extends beyond the borders of Poland, with recent reports linking the group to cyber espionage campaigns targeting NATO countries. Furthermore, APT28’s malicious activities have expanded to include targeting iOS devices with sophisticated spyware, highlighting the group’s evolving tactics and capabilities in the realm of cyber warfare.



Government cyberespionage remains a persistent concern in the realm of cybersecurity. The recent cyber intrusion targeting Polish institutions serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threat posed by sophisticated cyber adversaries like APT28 malware attack

As cyber-attacks continue to evolve in complexity and scale, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in fortifying their defenses against emerging Eastern European cyber threats. By staying informed and implementing robust security measures, we can collectively mitigate the risk posed by malicious actors and safeguard critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

The sources for this piece include articles in The Hacker News and Bleeping Computer.


Alert: Polish Institutions Targeted By APT28 Malware Attack
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Alert: Polish Institutions Targeted By APT28 Malware Attack
Learn about the APT28 malware attack targeting Polish institutions. Stay informed and protect your organization from cyber threats.
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