8Base attacks Axel Johnson

Incident Date:

February 21, 2024

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8Base attacks Axel Johnson


Axel Johnson




Villagatan, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

First Reported

February 21, 2024

Axel Johnson Added to 8Base Ransomware Group's Data Leak Site

Axel Johnson has been added to the 8Base ransomware group's data leak site. Allegedly, the compromised data includes invoices, receipts, accounting documents, personal data, certificates, employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, and personal files. Axel Johnson is a leading Swedish family-owned business undergoing rapid transformation. It builds and develops strong and long-term businesses that address societal challenges in areas such as food, energy, health, and industry. Through its companies, it meets over one and a half million customers every day and aims to be a positive force for change.

The Rise of 8Base Ransomware Gang

The 8Base ransomware gang first emerged in March of 2022 and has quickly become one of the most active groups today, having displayed a "massive spike in activity" in the second half of 2023. About half of the 8Base targets are in the business services, manufacturing, and construction sectors. The sophistication of the operation suggests they are an offshoot of experienced RaaS operators - most likely Ransomhouse, a data extortion group that first emerged in December of 2021 and was quite active in late 2022 and early 2023. Other researchers see a connection to the leaked Babuk builder.

Like most groups today, 8Base engages in data exfiltration for double extortion and employs advanced security evasion techniques, including modifying Windows Defender Firewall for bypass. 8Base quickly ascended the ranks of active ransomware operators with a high volume of attacks in late spring and throughout the summer of 2023, making them one of the most active groups.

Operational Tactics and Targets

It is unclear how much 8Base typically demands for a ransom. 8Base does not appear to have its own signature ransomware strain or maintain a RaaS for recruiting affiliate participation openly, but it is assessed it may service a group of vetted affiliate attackers privately. Like RansomHouse, they appear to use a variety of ransomware payloads and loaders in their attacks, most prevalently customized Phobos with SmokeLoader. Attacks also include wiping of Volume Shadow Copies (VSS) to prevent rollback of the encryption. 8Base does not appear to be targeting Linux systems, maintaining a focus on Windows targets.

8Base tends to target organizations that provide Business Services as well as those in the Manufacturing, Financial, and Information Technology sectors. 8Base does not appear to maintain a RaaS program, appearing to be opportunistic in their choice of victims, with a focus on “name and shame” via their leaks site to compel payment of the ransom demand.

Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.