List of warez groups

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Listed here are some of the warez groups – groups of individuals specialized in cracking the digital rights management (DRM) applied to commercial PC video games – that were known to exist from the last decades of scene history, with an introduction of when they were formed and their achievements. According to a researcher between 2003 and 2009 there were 3,164 active groups, with the majority of these groups being active for no more than two months, with only a small amount being active for many years. The warez scene is a very competitive and volatile environment. The groups are generally not driven by profit, but by reputation.[1]



ACTiVATED is a warez group and the sub group of CODEX . In warez scene, ACTiVATED is known for cracking games for Linux and MacOSX.


3DM was a Chinese video game warez group, "one of the world's biggest" according to Kotaku. Their founder and leader is reported to be a woman using the pseudonym "Bird Sister" (simplified Chinese: 宿菲菲; pinyin: Sù Fēifēi). Unusual for piracy groups, 3DM's members have public profiles on the social network Sina Weibo, and use a blog to inform the public about their activities. After the appearance of denuvo and the recent jeopardy caused in the scene by it, 3DM were the first ones to crack it. They supposedly gave up while working on JC3. They claimed that video game piracy shall cease to exist in the coming years. One of the most respected groups, they have been inactive ever since.


Centropy, founded in January 1999, was a warez group which specialized in the copyright infringement 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),[2] founded in 2000 by tKC,[3] using IRC to communicate[4][5]


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.[6]


CODEX (also known as CDX) – is a warez group founded in the end of January 2014. They are known for cracking the games that are using Steam authentication and also for breaking the Ubisoft DRM protection. They were accused[7] by SKIDROW group for stealing their code to write their own emulator for the game Trials Fusion, but later replied [8] that they wrote it on their own. Currently they're one of the most active warez groups in the game ISO section.


One of the nfo files used by the warez group named "CPY"

CPY is a warez group founded in 1999 in Italy.[9][10] They released Rise of the Tomb Raider and Inside in August 2016 under the name of CONSPIR4CY, but soon after, they have returned to their 'CPY' tag with Doom in September 2016. They became the first group to crack games protected by the latest Denuvo implementation. They cracked Resident Evil 7: Biohazard only five days after its release, making it the fastest Denuvo DRM-protected game to be cracked.[11] They also cracked Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas[12] and Mass Effect Andromeda,[13] only ten days after the release.


Active from 1999 to 2006, DEViANCE was one of the most prolific warez groups. Their dissolution marked the Scene, and the current affiliation of ex-DEViANCE members is a recurrent theme in arguments between groups.[14][15][16]


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


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


Released American Pie on the Internet 3 months before its theatrical release.[17][18] They digitally branded their releases with a letter Z that appeared in the corner of the screen.[19] The bootleggers were associated with a web site in Argentina devoted to Quake.[20]


FAiRLiGHT (famous as FLT), One of the oldest groups in warez scene, founded in 1987. While still active, the group focuses on demos.[21] FAiRLiGHT was subject to raid in Operation Fastlink.


Hoodlum mainly focused on cracking Safedisc and Securom. They were targeted as part of the Operation Site Down raids in 2005.[22][23]

The Dream Team[edit]

The Dream Team (also known as "TDT") were the first warez group on the IBM PC to introduce intros or "crack'tros" to their game releases. It was one of the first IBM PC groups founded 1988 in Sweden and run by Hard Core or also known as HC/TDT.

The Humble Guys[edit]

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


Founded in late 2006, HATRED was very active during 2006-07. ViTALiTY has claimed that HATRED were former members of DEViANCE.[24] Some of their major releases included Rainbow Six: Vegas and Resident Evil 4. Their last release was on August 2008.[25]


HYBRID (also known as HBD) was founded in 1993.[26] HYBRID later split up when the US-members founded DYNAMIX (later PRESTIGE and PARADIGM).[27]

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.


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.


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[28][29] After the bust, releases ceased and another group called maVenssupplieR immediately took up the slack.[30] 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.[31][32][33]

mVs (Maven Supplier) released a workprint of Halloween three days before its official release on August 27, 2007.[34]


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 (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[35]

Phrozen Crew (PC), founded in 1993 by tKC,[3] was one of the most popular groups of computer software crackers, with the tagline "We always get what we want!".[36]

Pirates With Attitude[edit]

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.[37][non-primary source needed]

Project X[edit]

Project X exclusively released games for the Xbox.[38] In 2004, Project X was named as one of six groups targeted as part of Operation Fastlink by the United States Department of Justice.[39][non-primary source needed]


PROPHET is a subgroup of RELOADED and is well known for distributing various Multi-Languages games which also contain latest game content such as DLCs. These are often stylized as MULTi. For example, MULTi7 means you can choose among 7 languages from installation.

Rabid Neurosis[edit]

Rabid Neurosis (RNS) was an MP3 warez release organization which was founded on June 6, 1996.[40]


Several verses of the rap song Hackers and the Crackers by Zearle are devoted to the group Radium. In 2004, it was claimed that some of the sounds included with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, such as WMPAUD1.WAV, were authored using an unlicensed version of Sound Forge which was supplied by Radium.[41]

Razor 1911[edit]

Razor 1911 (also known as RZR and RazorDOX) 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. The group made a comeback in June 2006,[42] and since then has cracked modern copy protection schemes like the always-online Ubisoft DRM[43] and Battle.NET.[44] In March 2012, Razor1911 announced that their tester and coder DYCUS, who had an active role in making trainers and testing the group's releases, had died of cancer.[45] Since then, the group has seldom released cracked games, focusing on DRM-free titles from, often for Linux and MacOSX.


RELOADED (also known as RLD!) was founded in June 2004.[46] Their founders are believed to be ex-DEViANCE members, albeit their rival group HOODLUM claimed in December 2004 that none of DEViANCE's previous leaders had ever been in RELOADED.[47] The group has cracked several modern protection schemes like SecuROM 8, Battle.NET and Arxan Anti-Tamper.


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


SKIDROW is a well-known cracking group originally formed in 1990 on the Amiga platform, having used the motto "Twice the Fun - Double the Trouble!" since then. The modern SKIDROW dates back to June 2007, when they announced their return to the PC platform.[48] They were the first Scene group to crack the always-online Ubisoft DRM, having done it in Assassin's Creed II[49] and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. The group claims to have cracked Denuvo Anti-Tamper both in Yesterday Origins and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - A Criminal Past, though it's believed the former had a bad implementation of Denuvo that made it easier to reverse, and that the crack for the latter is a modified executable file of the lesser protected Deus Ex: Breach. A plurality of SKIDROW's current releases are cracked versions of games that make use of Steam authentication.[50]


SteamPunks is a new group who has bypassed the Denuvo protected game Dishonored 2 which was released in November 2016, ADR1FT, Planet Coaster and ABZU. They have made a keygen which generates a license which is the same as the one used in Denuvo Anti-Tamper which is generated for a legitimate copy of the game. This method of SteamPunks has sure made head turns in the warez community that these kinds of patch could bypass other Denuvo protected games.

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.

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.[51][third-party source needed]

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.


VACE was founded in September 2003, focused on cracking and ripping PC games. Besides ripped games, the group also releases trainers and cracked updates for games.


ViTALiTY (also known as VTY) was founded in May 2005, and it's been suggested they were ex members of DEViANCE.[15] The group was scene banned in October 2007,[52] claiming rival groups RELOADED[53] and FAiRLiGHT[54] pushed it, though the latter claim they were against it.[55] Though VTY was accused of denouncing other groups to the FBI,[52] they themselves claim a RELOADED senior member threatened to report them.[53] ViTALiTY's last release was an update to The Sims 3 on 8 October 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lambert-Chan, Marie (2013-04-21). "Il a piraté les pirates informatiques". 
  2. ^ "NetMag Proudly Presents Warez Je Sport" (PDF). mikrom's blog. mikrom. 2001-08-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-25. Retrieved 28 April 2015. [self-published source]
  3. ^ 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". 2000-10-10. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  4. ^ Jirovský, Václav (2007). Kybernetická kriminalita : nejen o hackingu, crackingu, virech a trojských koních bez tajemství (1 ed.). Praha: Grada. ISBN 9788024715612. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Crackers In Action". CiA. 2000-10-18. Archived from the original on 2000-10-18. Retrieved 2012-08-05. [self-published source]
  6. ^ "Class". Defacto2. 1997-01-08. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  7. ^ "Andy" (2015-05-04). "'Skidrow' Pirates Get Pirated After Removing Their Own 'DRM'". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  8. ^ CODEX (2014-04-28). "Trials Fusion Statement". Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  9. ^ "ÛÛÛ -". Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  10. ^ "ÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛÛ²²²²²²²²²²²²²²±±±±±±±±± -". Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  11. ^ Andy (2017-04-14). "Game Pirates Celebrate Fall of Denuvo's Brand New Protection". TorrentFreak. 
  12. ^ Papadopoulos, John (2017-01-29). "Resident Evil 7 – Latest version of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech cracked in less than five days". DSOGaming. 
  13. ^ Papadopoulos, John (2017-04-04). "Despite the Denuvo anti-tamper tech, Mass Effect: Andromeda has been cracked in 10 days". DSOGaming. 
  14. ^ "ViTALiTY accuses HATRED of being ex-Deviance". defacto2. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "DevSuc rants about the current DEVIANCE". Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Hoodlum rebuts RLD's claims of being ex-DEViANCE leaders". defacto2. 
  17. ^ "Video CD: American Pie". The iSONEWS. Archived from the original on 2005-02-11. [self-published source]
  18. ^ "Lester's Movie Reviews". Netmonkey Weekly Report. 1999-06-03. This movie is not in theatres, only in WP by EViLiSO. [self-published source]
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Vankin, Jonathan (1999-06-23). "Invasion of Piracy". LA Weekly. 
  21. ^ Ben Garrett (20 June 1999). "Fairlight – Defacto2". Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  22. ^ "'Operation Site Down' Attacks Organized Piracy Networks In 10 Countries". Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  23. ^ "Hoodlum". Defacto2. Retrieved 2012-09-17. [self-published source]
  24. ^ "Vitality claim Hatred is made up of former Deviance members". Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  25. ^ "HATRED's release list". 
  26. ^ Ben Garrett (27 April 1997). "Hybrid – Defacto2". Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  27. ^ Mindbender (1 May 1996). "The Naked Truth Magazine, 6 for The Naked Truth Magazine – Defacto2". Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  28. ^ Ernesto (2010-03-17). "Canadian Movie Pirate 'maVen' Sent To Jail". TorrentFreak. [self-published source]
  29. ^ "Movie pirate gets 2½ months in jail". CBC News. 2010-03-16. 
  30. ^ enigmax (2007-12-05). "Police Charge 'maVen', 'World Leader' in Internet Movie Piracy". TorrentFreak. [self-published source]
  31. ^ enigmax (2010-04-06). "Canadian Movie Pirate ‘maVen’ Dies of Drug Overdose". TorrentFreak. [self-published source]
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ Katherine Wilton (2010-04-06). "Montreal film bootlegger dies of suspected drug overdose". The Gazette. 
  34. ^ Andy (2014-08-10). "Movie Curiosities Lurking on BitTorrent Networks". TorrentFreak. [self-published source]
  35. ^ Mendham, Scott. " Cracking Up" PC World (December 1999)
  36. ^ Unny, Vinod (March 1999). "The Dark Art of Cracking". PCQuest (magazine). Archived from the original on 1999-05-08. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  37. ^ "Software Pirate Guilty of Copyright Infringement Under NET Act". 2001-05-15. Archived from the original on 2006-10-01. 
  38. ^ "Xbox release list". 2012-11-17. [self-published source]
  39. ^ "Justice Department Announces International Internet Piracy Sweep". Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Justice. 2004-04-22. Archived from the original on 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  40. ^ Mr. Mister (27 September 1996). "Interview with N0Fx & BonethuG (RNS)". mp3scene. AFT. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2015. Rabid Neurosis was founded on June 6, 1996 to be exact [self-published source]
  41. ^ Jan Libbenga (2004-11-13). "Windows Media Player sound files 'edited with warez'". Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  42. ^ "NFL Head Coach by Razor1911". defacto2. 
  43. ^ "Razor1911 releases crack for The Settlers 7". 
  44. ^ "Starcraft 2 Cracktro by Razor1911". 
  45. ^ "Obituary for Dycus". defacto2. 
  46. ^ Ben Garrett. "Reloaded – Defacto2". Retrieved 2015-04-28. [self-published source]
  47. ^ "Hoodlum criticizes RELOADED". defacto2. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  48. ^ "Skid Row officially announce their return to the PC". defacto2. 
  49. ^ Yam, Marcus. "Ubisoft's DRM for Assassin's Creed II is Cracked". Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  50. ^ enigmax (2011-10-10). "Anti-Piracy Company Pirates Deus Ex in Controversial Experiment". [self-published source]
  51. ^ "TRSi.DE :: TRiSTAR & RED SECTOR iNC. – Home of the homeless sceners :: since 1990". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  52. ^ a b "Fairlight bag out Vitality". defacto2. 
  53. ^ a b "Vitality give 9 separate reasons why they believe Reloaded has it in for them". defacto2. 
  54. ^ "Vitality respond to their recent scene ban, that was probably pushed by Fairlight.". defacto2. 
  55. ^ "Fairlight reneges their ban on Vitality". defacto2.