Analysts from the Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence team have uncovered a phishing email targeting Russian government agencies. The phishing email disguise as a Windows security update to lure users to install remote access malware.

The attacks were linked to the APT group, which is believed to operate from China. The group has been linked to four separate spear-phishing campaigns, in all four cases the ultimate goal of the campaigns was to infect the targets with a custom remote access trojan (RAT).

The first of the four phishing campaigns began in February 2022, days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and the group distributed the RAT under the name “interactive_map _UA.exe.”

In the second wave of attacks, the group used a tar.gz archive intended to fix the Log4Shell vulnerability sent by the Ministry of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation.

The third wave spoofs Rostec, a Russian state-owned defense conglomerate, and the actors use newly registered domains like “Rostec.digital” and fake Facebook accounts to spread their malware while disguising its source.