List of warez groups

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Warez groups typically tag their releases with NFO files. Due to the nature of the warez scene, not much is known about these groups.

Groups[edit]

Listed here are many of the more significant warez groups, with a short introduction of when they were formed and what they have done. Note that there are many other warez groups that are not included here.

Centropy[edit]

Main article: Centropy

Centropy, founded in January 1999, was a warez group which specialized in the piracy of films. Touting many "0-day" and "negative day" releases, Centropy has released and pre-released numerous films.

Crackers In Action[edit]

Crackers In Action (also known as CIA),[1] founded in 2000 by tKC,[2] using IRC to communicate[3][4]

CLASS[edit]

Main article: CLASS (warez)

CLASS (also known as CLS) was a warez group which was the target of federal raids such as Operation Fastlink. They were a global group with members worldwide, often releasing "rip" games. The group ceased operations in 2004 after their 1,234'th release.[5]

DrinkOrDie[edit]

Main article: DrinkOrDie

DrinkOrDie (also known as DoD) was subject to a raid in Operation Buccaneer.

Echelon[edit]

Main article: Echelon (warez)

Echelon is a warez group which specializes in the release and distribution of console games, such as Dreamcast ISOs.

EViL[edit]

Released American Pie on the Internet 3 months before its theatrical release.[6][7] They digitally branded their releases with a letter Z that appeared in the corner of the screen.[8]

Fairlight[edit]

Main article: Fairlight (group)

Fairlight (also known as FLT), One of the oldest groups in warez scene, founded in 1987. While still active, the group focuses on demos.[9] Fairlight was subject to raid in Operation Fastlink, which almost killed their ISO division. Their demoscene division was not affected by the raid. FLT's Iso Division is still active in 2008 and is releasing from time to time new game titles.[citation needed]

Hoodlum[edit]

Hoodlum mainly focused on cracking Safedisc and Securom. They were targeted as part of the Operation Site Down raids in 2005.[10][11]

The Humble Guys[edit]

Main article: The Humble Guys

The Humble Guys (also known as THG) were the first warez group to make use of NFO files to document their releases.

HYBRID[edit]

HYBRID (also known as HBD) founded in 1993,[12] was the first warez group to rip (remove video and sound due to size-issues) CD-ROM games. Before HYBRID, groups like ROM 1911 and TDU-JAM (CD-divisions of Razor 1911 and Pentagram) released full CD-ROM games. HYBRID started out from the floppy releasegroup Ecplise (based on old Razor 1911 members like The Renegade Chemist, Randall Flagg and ZEUS). HYBRID later split up when the US-members founded DYNAMIX (later PRESTIGE and PARADIGM).[13]

International Network of Crackers[edit]

International Network of Crackers (also known as INC) was one of the premier cracking/releasing warez groups for the IBM PC during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The majority of their releases during 1993 were educational games for children. By early 1994, INC had completely disappeared from the warez scene.

K3tUG[edit]

K3tUGs are a newly formed hackers/warez group (2012) but the've never been online. Everything they do is offline. Well known in India for breaking all types of CD protection, they provide the complete *.iso of various learning DVDs" like Optimum Smart Learing, Home Revise, Eclass, Smartclass, etc. Beside this, they provide all the antivirus cracks, being known also as "Back to the old skool" (BttOS).

Kalisto[edit]

Main article: Kalisto (warez group)

Kalisto is a console warez group established in March 1998 which specializes in the release and distribution of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 ISO images, briefly moonlighting on the Dreamcast platform in mid-to-late 2000.

Maven[edit]

In the summer of 2006, the stream of maVen releases suddenly halted. The FBI had caught Gérémi Adam, one of the key members. The 27 year-old Montreal resident has been sentenced to two and a half months in prison and was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty to distributing two major motion pictures: Invincible and How to Eat Fried Worms[14][15] After the bust, releases ceased and another group called maVenssupplieR immediately took up the slack.[16] In April 2010, the 28 year old Gérémi Adam died of a drug overdose at the Pointe-aux-Trembles home he shared with his girlfriend, Cynthia Laporte.[17][18][19]

mVs (Maven Supplier) released a workprint of Halloween three days before its official release on August 27, 2007.[20]

Myth[edit]

Main article: Myth (warez)

Myth was a warez group, focused on cracking and ripping PC games. Besides ripped games, the group also released trainers and cracked updates for games.

PARADOX[edit]

Main article: PARADOX (warez)

PARADOX (also known as PDX) was founded in 1989, mainly cracking/release games for the Amiga. They have since spread to the PC and other consoles. They were one of the earliest groups to successfully crack Windows Vista which was supposed to be a challenge for the hackers at the time of its release.

Phrozen Crew[edit]

"The Phrozen Crew: one of the larger and more prolific Crackz groups" - PC World Magazine 1999[21]

Phrozen Crew (PC), founded in 1993 by tKC,[2] was one of the most popular groups of computer software crackers, with the tagline "We always get what we want!".[22]

Pirates With Attitude[edit]

Main article: Pirates With Attitude

Pirates With Attitude (also known as PWA) were a major international warez release group from 1992 until 2000. The group was formed by two former INC members known by the pseudonyms Orion and Bar Manager. PWA members were raided close after the passing of the No Electronic Theft or "NET" Act.[23]

Project X[edit]

Project X is a scene release group that exclusively released games for the Xbox. A lot of the first Xbox games were released by them.[24] The group was active from May 2002 until November 2006. In 2004, Project X was named as one of six groups targeted as part of Operation Fastlink by the United States Department of Justice.[25]

Rabid Neurosis[edit]

Main article: Rabid Neurosis

Rabid Neurosis (RNS) was an MP3 warez release organization which was founded on June 6, 1996.[26]

Radium[edit]

Radium (also known as RDM) is known primarily for cracking and releasing high dollar audio editing software such as Cubase VST and Pro Tools. One of their greater accomplishments was to actually speed up the Fraunhofer MP3 codec as well as cracking the copy protection.[citation needed] Radium were said to have offered better support for their releases than the companies who actually manufactured the programs.[27] Several verses of the rap song Hackers and the Crackers" by Zearle are devoted to the group Radium. In 2004, it was discovered that some of the sounds included with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, such as WMPAUD1.WAV, were authored using a pirated version of Sound Forge which was supplied by Radium.[28][29]

Razor 1911[edit]

Main article: Razor 1911

Razor 1911 (also known as RZR) was founded in 1985 on the Commodore 64 but also had a major presence on the Amiga and the IBM PC. They were subject to raid in Operation Buccaneer and Operation Fastlink.

RELOADED[edit]

Main article: RELOADED

RELOADED (also known as RLD) was founded in June 2004 from the ex-members of DEViANCE.[30] They released and cracked Spore in 4 days[31] and The Sims 3 beta version in 15 days before their respective street dates. On February 29, 2008, RELOADED released a cracked version of Assassin's Creed, a month before it was to hit the shelves on March 28. Although, this release was later nuked for not being the final retail version as well as having crashing issues, The retail version was released by them more than a month later.

Risciso[edit]

Main article: Risciso

Risciso (stylized as RISCISO) was an online warez group, founded in approximately 1993, dedicated to distributing newly released copyrighted software, games and movies.

SKIDROW[edit]

SKIDROW is a well-known cracking group known for breaking the Ubisoft DRM protection within days of the games being released to the public,[32] as well as for releasing cracked versions of games that make use of Steam authentication.[33]

Superior Art Creations[edit]

Superior Art Creations (SAC) is an underground artscene group which caters primarily to and is well known within the warez scene.

Swedish Cracking Crew[edit]

Formed in 1984 (also known as SCC), is one of the first Swedish Commodore 64 groups on the scene. Later went on to the Amiga under the name Northern Lights.

Tristar and Red Sector Incorporated[edit]

Tristar and Red Sector, Inc. (also known as TRSI) began as an alliance between two warez groups: Tristar and Red Sector Incorporated. They were formed in 1990 as a cooperative Commodore 64 demo coding and cracking group. TRSI migrated from the Commodore 64 release platform to the Amiga and IBM-PC, and eventually branched off into the console gaming scene before finally disbanding their warez division. In late 2003, TRSI became inactive and remains so today.[34]­[third-party source needed]

UPS[edit]

UPS (United Piracy Service) was a courier group active primarily in the 90s on America Online. They distributed warez via AOL chat rooms using specialized Visual Basic applications that would manipulate AOL chat rooms and mail boxes via Microsoft Windows's Object Linking and Embedding interface.

The group and similar groups would run bots in AOL chat rooms where other members could type special commands into the chat to receive a list of available wares in their email inbox. The lists would contain numeric codes for each application that could then be typed into the chat to have the warez forwarded as split attachments to their AOL mailbox.

The client/server combination application that featured both the bot and the client could load the list of warez from a user's inbox, automatically parse the split parts and display a list of software with checkboxes the user could check off and then submit to have the application automatically join the chat room and request the desired warez.

Because AOL accounts had a theoretically unlimited amount of storage, and because split attachments were automatically joined together, distribution of warez via AOL was simple and easy.

United Software Association[edit]

The United Software Association (also known as USA) was a prominent IBM PC games and applications warez group during the 1990s. USA formed an alliance with the PC warez division of Fairlight which was known as "USA/FLT". In late January 1992, several members of USA were arrested by the United States Secret Service and the Farmington Hills, Michigan police for credit card fraud.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Netmag: Warez je sport (Czech)
  2. ^ a b "Here is my history, it’s the same I’ve included in Cracking Tutor Trilogy #1 while ago, except this time I’ve modified here and there". Defacto2.net. 2000-10-10. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  3. ^ Kybernetická kriminalita By Václav Jirovský
  4. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2000-10-18. Archived from the original on 2000-10-18. Retrieved 2012-08-05. [self-published source]
  5. ^ "Class". Defacto2. 1997-01-08. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  6. ^ "Video CD: American Pie". The iSONEWS. Archived from the original on 2005-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Lester's Movie Reviews". Netmonkey Weekly Report. 1999-06-03. "This movie is not in theatres, only in WP by EViLiSO." 
  8. ^ Wilson, Steve (1999-07-29). "Online Piracy: From Music to Film". The New York Times. "Eviliso digitally brands its copies with a letter Z that appears in the corner of the screen." 
  9. ^ Defacto2 - Fairlight (FLT) Group Page
  10. ^ "'Operation Site Down' Attacks Organized Piracy Networks In 10 Countries". usdoj.gov. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  11. ^ "Hoodlum". Defacto2. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  12. ^ History of HYBRID
  13. ^ Naked Truth Magazine - The Hybridian Breaking
  14. ^ Ernesto (2010-03-17). "Canadian Movie Pirate 'maVen' Sent To Jail". TorrentFreak. 
  15. ^ "Movie pirate gets 2½ months in jail". CBC News. 2010-03-16. 
  16. ^ enigmax (2007-12-05). "Police Charge 'maVen', 'World Leader' in Internet Movie Piracy". TorrentFreak. 
  17. ^ enigmax (2010-04-06). "Canadian Movie Pirate ‘maVen’ Dies of Drug Overdose". TorrentFreak. 
  18. ^ Jean Nicolas Aubé (2010-04-06). "Le pirate de films Gérémi Adam retrouvé mort à Montréal" [Movie pirate Gérémi Adam found dead in Montreal] (in French). 24H Montréal. 
  19. ^ Katherine Wilton (2010-04-06). "Montreal film bootlegger dies of suspected drug overdose". The Gazette. 
  20. ^ Andy (2014-08-10). "Movie Curiosities Lurking on BitTorrent Networks". TorrentFreak. 
  21. ^ Mendham, Scott. "Alt.net: Cracking Up" PC World (December 1999)
  22. ^ Unny, Vinod (March 1999). "The Dark Art of Cracking". PCQuest (magazine). Archived from the original on 1999-05-08. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  23. ^ Software Pirate Guilty of Copyright Infringement Under NET Act (May 15, 2001)
  24. ^ "Xbox release list". 2012-11-17. 
  25. ^ "Justice Department Announces International Internet Piracy Sweep". Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Justice. 2004-04-22. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  26. ^ "Interview with BonethuG & N0fX". 1996-09-27. Retrieved 2011-04-05. "Interviewed: N0Fx, BonethuG, Position: RNS Prez/Co-Prez. "Rabid Neurosis was founded on June 6, 1996 to be exact"" 
  27. ^ Warez Wars - Articles - David McCandless - Writer
  28. ^ Windows Media Player sound files 'edited with warez' | Reg Developer
  29. ^ Microsoft Caught Out || kuro5hin.org
  30. ^ History of RELOADED
  31. ^ Daniel (2008-11-03). "Spore cracked before its street date". 
  32. ^ C. Jensen (2010-04-22). "Skid Row Hackers Defeat UbiSoft DRM 100%". Archived from the original on 2010-04-25. 
  33. ^ enigmax (2011-10-10). "Anti-Piracy Company Pirates Deus Ex in Controversial Experiment". 
  34. ^ "TRSi.DE :: TRiSTAR & RED SECTOR iNC. - Home of the homeless sceners :: since 1990". Trsi.org. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 

External links[edit]