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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.
1.2 Crackers In Action,
1.8 The Humble Guys,
1.10 International Network of Crackers,
1.14 Phrozen Crew,
1.15 Pirates With Attitude,
1.16 Project X,
1.17 Rabid Neurosis,
1.19 Razor 1911,
1.23 Sub Zero,
1.24 Superior Art Creations,
1.25 Swedish Cracking Crew,
1.26 Tristar and Red Sector Incorporated,
1.27 United Software Association,
1.28 MOTiV8 Couriers,
2 List of the first cracking groups,
3 See also,
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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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:
Crackers In Action (also known as CIA), founded in 2000 by tKC, using IRC to communicate
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DrinkOrDie
DrinkOrDie (also known as DoD) was subject to a raid in Operation Buccaneer.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echelon_(warez)
Echelon is a warez group which specializes in the release and distribution of console games, such as Dreamcast ISOs.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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. 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.
Hoodlum mainly focused on cracking Safedisc and Securom. They were targeted as part of the Operation Site Down raids in 2005.
The Humble Guys:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 (also known as HBD) founded in 1993, 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).
International Network of Crackers:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Network_of_Crackers
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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalisto
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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 (PC), founded in 1993 by tKC, was one of the most popular groups of computer software crackers, with the tagline "We always get what we want!".
Pirates With Attitude:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
In 2004, Project X was named as one of six groups targeted as part of Operation Fastlink by the United States Department of Justice.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabid_Neurosis
Rabid Neurosis (RNS) was an MP3 warez release organization which was founded on June 6, 1996.
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. Radium were said to have offered better support for their releases than the companies who actually manufactured the programs. 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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RELOADED
RELOADED (also known as RLD) was founded in June 2004 from the ex-members of DEViANCE. They released and cracked Spore in 4 days 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. They also released Battlefield 3 four days ahead of the official release date. Finally, they released Modern Warfare 3 on the same day the game was released.They released Batman : Arkham Origins 1 day before the game was released,BATTLEFIELD 4 on the same day and finally CALL OF DUTY GHOSTS 04 Nov 2013 1 day before PC release.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 is a cracking group known for breaking the Ubisoft DRM protection, as well as for releasing cracked versions of games that make use of Steam authentication. In April of 2013 it was reported that "bitcoin mining" malware was being bundled with SKIDROW releases. This has not yet been confirmed. The malware allegedly makes use of host GPU for the mining process, thus including infected PC in the elaborate botnet. Java exploit used as an attack vector has since been patched.http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/bitcoin-mining-trojanbadminer
Formed in 1988 in and around Manchester, UK. Initially as a demogroup, then later moved to the warez scene providing cracks and some trained games. Original Members were Bear, Toy, Wiz, Jog... later added Bil, Faz, TTV, Apex. Later moved onto the Amiga. (All releases had "/SUB" as part of the filenames)
Superior Art Creations:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_Art_Creations
Superior Art Creations (SAC) is an underground artscene group which caters primarily to and is well known within the warez scene.
Swedish Cracking Crew:
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:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristar_and_Red_Sector_Incorporated
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.-
United Software Association:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Software_Association
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.
Motiv8 is by all purposed and definition an internet courier trading team. Throughout their existence they have also released at games and utilities for pure fun and enjoyment.The name Motiv8 was born in early 1991 in the Comodore 64 Scene as a Demo/Release group. The original C64 group can still be found today, both on the web and on IRC.In 1994, lead by Mason and Xerox, both C64 members, split off to create the Motiv8 PC Section. The group became famous as an internet couriering team trading on anonymous sites. As the proliferation of software to the masses became more rampant in early 1995, Motiv8 moved to private ftp sites.On February 1998, concern, emotions and fire spread quickly through the group as Mason decided to retire and disband the organization. Out of the ashes on June 29, 1998 Motiv8 was reborn, the leadership consisting of Dogan and Highlandr.Many begin their career as a Motiv8 net trader. There are countless legends and stories to talk about, but we'll talk about that later. Check out the M8 Pantheon, Newsletter Archive and the NFO archive for more historical information.
List of the first cracking groups:
2000 AD, 7upcrew, Abandon, Absolute, Abyss, Access, Accession, Accumulators, Ache, Acid, Ackerlight, Acu, Adept, Advanced, Aeon, Agile, Alcatraz, Alpha Flight, Amaze, Andromeda, Angels, Anthrox, Apocalypse, Arcane, Arkham, Ascenders, Aspect, Assault, Aurora, Avalon, Avantgarde, Avenger, Axe, Axxion, Backslash, Bad Karma, Bamiga Sector One, Bencor Brothers, Bently Sidewell Productions, Betrayal, Beyonders, Bionic, Black Aces, Black Division, Black Squadron, Blackmonks, Blitter Brothers, Blizzard, Brainwire, Bronx, Byte Busters, CBC, CCS, CDI, Chameleon, Champs, Chemical Reaction, Cherry, Chryseis, Class, Classic, CMEN, Comax, Company, Conqueror, Conspiracy, COPS, Copy Crew, Core, Corpse, Corrupt, CPU, Crack Inc., Crackers In Action, Crackheads, Cracking Boys, Crest, Crimewatch, Crux, Crystal, CSS, Cybertech, D.D.C, D-Age, D-Tect, Damones, Dark Star, Darkness, Deathangel, Deathstar, Decade, Decent, Decision, Defcon 1, Defjam, Delight, Delirium, Demon Release Crew, Depth, Destroyers, Devotion, Diamonds, Digital Corruption, Disarm, Divide, Divine, Downtown, Dracs, Dragon, Dreamteam, Drunken Rom Group, DS, D-Tect, Dualcrew, Dynamix, Dynasty, Dytec, E.S.I, Eartzsea, Eca, Eclipse, Elevate, Elevation, Energy, Ep, Epsilon, Escape, Etoile Noir, Euphoria, Everlast, Excel, Excide, Exodus, Extensors, Extreme, Faction, Fairlight, Faith, Fantasy, Fast, Fast Action Trading Exchange, Fazwonga, FCC, Felix, Fienbein, Fighting Force, Firestarters, Force Team, Freestyle, Freezers, Frontier, Fusion, Future Brain Inc, Genesis, Ghost Riders, Gin, Global, Gnudesign, God, Goonies, Gothic, Great Swappers, Gsc, Guild of Thieves, Haujobb, HCC, Hellfire, Heresy, High Tension, Hoodlum, Horizon, Hotline, HQC, Human Waste, Hybrid, IBB, ICS, Illusion, Image, INC Utility Division, Infinite Perfection, Inner Circle, Insane, Intensity, International Network of Crackers, Interpol, Ivory, Jetset, Jism, Joy, Just For Fun, KGB, Kingdom, Krabat, Kryn Headhunters, Legacy, Legend, Lightforce, Line to Heaven, LKCC, Loner, Loons, Lord, LSA, LSD, Mad, Mad Monks, Madhouse, Madway Boys, Magicarts, Magnetic Fields, Martyrium, Masters, Mayhem, Mcp, Mea Culpa, Megabyteinc, Megaforce, Megatron, Metallians, MGF, Micron, Mighty druids, Ministry, Miracle, Mirage, Motion, Movers, Mystic, Myth, Napalm, National Elite Underground Alliance, Nemesis, Neutron, New Age, Neworder, Nightsoft Hangover, No Class, Noize, Northstar, Nova acies, Noxious, Oddity, Oks, Oracle, Orb, Organized Crime, Origin, Orion, Ott, Outlaws, Palace, Pantera, Paradigm, Paradise, Paradox, Paranoimia, Passwords, Peninsul Team, Pentagram, Perfection, Phantasy, Phantom, Phoenix, Phr Crew, Phrozen Crew, Piranhas, Pirates, Power, Powerslaves, Preluxe, Prestige, Prism, Prodigy, Progress, Proton, Pseudo-Ups, PSI, Public Enemy, Pulsar, Pulse, Punishers, Quadlite, Quartex, Queen, Quest, Quicksilver, Quoram, Radical, Radium, Rage, Random Access, Rastan, Razor 1911, Rebels, Red Sector, Rednex, Reflex, Reflexxion, Resistance, Resolution 101, Robin Hood, Rod, Roncler Gang, Royal, Rudi, RUS iSO, Rust, Sado City, Savage, Scandal, Sceptic, Schlappy, Scienide, Scoopex, Scrooge, Section8, Sensics, Setrox, Seven Eleven, SFX, Shining 8, Silents, Skandal, Skid Row, Skillion, Slipstream, Smurf, Snf, Sniper, Solitudes, Sonik, Sorcerers, Spirit, Spreadpoint, Squadron, SSR, Starfrontiers, Stoneage, Storm, Subsoftware, Subway, Subzero, Sunflex, Sunriders, Superior Art Creations, Supplex, Supreme, Swedish Cracking Crew, Switch, Syndicate, Synergy, Tarkus Team, TBR, TDT, TDU-Jam, Technobrains, Tectron, Tension, Testament, The Band, The Bitstoppers, The Firm, The Humble Guys, The Kent Team, Threat, Thrill Kill Kult, Thrust, Thunderloop, TKK, TMD, Toc, Top Swap, Toxic, TPB, Tradersdream, TRF, Tribe, Trilogy, Tristar, Triton, TRSI, TSK, TSL, TSS, Twilight, UGC, Undertakers, Unique, Unit-A, United Cracking Force, United Forces, Valhalla, Vantage, Vega, Vendetta, Venture, Versus, Vice, Vision, Vision Factory, Voodoo, Vortex, Wanted Team, Warhammer, Weetibix, Wella Designs, Whitesnake, Wild Ones, Wizards, Wizzcat, Wonder Twins, World of Wonders, Xerox, X-Pression, XTC, X-Trek, Zaracon, Zelnik, Zenith, Zero defects, Zigag, Zike, Zylon.