- Scene - Info / Politics
- The Scene
- The Warez Scene Hierarchy
- The Scene System
- The Scene Rules
- What is a Release?
- About Release Groups in General
- Scene Art
More guides and Links - https://rentry.co/Mega-Rentry
This is Heavily OutDated but Provides a Good Overview of the Politics
Credit - revolt Group 2017
Ever wonder what made release groups like SKIDROW and RELOADED so popular? It's because they are Scene groups. Scene groups exists for a long time and has a rich history. These type of groups are famous for their high quality and fast releases. However, the warez scene quite often seems to fail to achieve these expectations the last couple of years. The reason for this is the next generation games and group members, who don't always follow the strict scene rules. For more info (source: http://scenegrouplist.com/), read the next interesting paragraphs. Enjoy.
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The scene or the warez scene is the pretty unknown worldwide network where people trade pirated goods, like DVD's, movies, games, applications etc. Warez refers primarily to copyrighted material traded in violation of its copyright license. It does not refer to commercial for-profit software counterfeiting. First warez is released by release groups that are specialized in publishing warez. They copy a DVD or break the security of a game, and will make it available for other people, as a so-called release. When these release groups finish a release it will be uploaded to sites. These sites are very fast private FTP-servers, and the first stadium in the distribution of a release. Eventually, at the end of the distribution, the releases are available for everyone on P2P (torrent).
The speed of this worldwide network is enormous. Within minutes a release can be copied to hundreds of other sites. Within an hour, it's available on thousands of sites and FXP boards. Within a day or two it's available on newsgroups, IRC and in the end, on P2P. It's not all one big happy family. The warez scene consists of certain groups/layers. At the top we have the release groups and the topsites. These groups are the scene core. The other groups officially are not a part of the scene. Though, most people consider them as a part of the scene. Read more about the scene hierarchyin paragraph 2.1.
The Scene isn't just a distribution network, it's far more than that. There are the scene rules which are there to guarantee good quality releases. If not, a release will be nuked. This means it will be marked as bad. Nuked releases are not spread well and the release group will get a bad status. Read paragraph 2.2 to learn more about the how the scene works.
Security is an important issue in the scene. Since their activities are illegal the sceners have to secure themselves, to be safe from the anti-piracy organisations and avoid being caught in a takedown.
The scene is build up in a certain hierarchy. To explain the structure of this, here is a global overview of the piracy food chain. Not all these “layers” are considered as a part of the scene by everyone. The anti piracy organizations and most of the other parties which are not in the scene them self, do consider all these groups to the scene. In fact, the release groups and the people on the top sites hate these other groups. The reason for this is that FXP boards, IRC traders, and mostly peer to peer users bring the scene in danger. The sceners (people from the scene) want to keep the releases for a limited amount of people. Since everyone who knows how to use a computer most likely knows how to use P2P software, everyone is able to download releases. This causes big losses for record labels, movie producers etc, what leads to attention of anti-piracy organizations. On their turn, this brings the sceners in danger, so that's why they disapprove these groups. FXP boards consider themselves in the scene. IRC traders and newsgroups might now even know about the scene, and P2P-users definitely don't know about the scene.
Here is the hierarchy:
o Release groups - Groups of people who release the warez into the scene. Often linked with Site Traders.
o Top sites - Very fast FTP servers with people who trade the releases from the above groups to other (top)sites.
o FXP Boards - People who scan/hack/fill vulnerable computers with warez.
o IRC Trading - Users of IRC who download from "XDCC Bots" or "Fserves".
o Newsgroups - People who download from alt.binaries newsgroups.
o Peer-To-Peer - Users of P2P (peer-to-peer) programs like KaZaA, BitTorrent, uTorrent (etc) who share with each other.
At the bottom of the piracy food chain we have the peer-to-peer users. There seem to be two groups of peer-to-peer users. The first group are kids downloading some music now and then because they can't afford CD's. Second are the older P2P users who use P2P also for downloading games, programs, movies, etc. In the media, peer-to-peer are being labeled as dangerous pirates. They are a lot easier to bust and there are quite some of them who are being sued by the RIAA for thousands of dollars. The level of security is very low, and it's easy to get access to all warez. This is why they endanger the sceners. Most P2P users don't have a clue about what a long way a release has made untill it's available for download. It has been released, spread from topsites to FXP boards, then to IRC/newsgroups and in the end it's available for the mass via peer-to-peer.
A special kind of P2P system is BitTorrent. It uses a central location which coordinates the downloads but it doesn't host any downloads. The download itself consists of several pieces offered by various users. Such a coordinated group is called a torrent. BitTorrent is widely used, although it's rather insecure. The central distribution point is called the tracker. The tracker knows which users already have the file, and which users want to download it. The users who already have the download are called seeders, and the users who are downloading are called leechers. Every user who downloads a certain file, downloads a different part of the file. When the seeder goes offline, they can still download from each other and all complete the file.
Once upon a time when the internet was still young there were special interest groups that shared information and kept in touch by using a bulletin board type system. This system was designed to take advantage of the internet in a way an old bulletin boards couldn't; each location had a machine (news server) that would store all the messages of the newsgroups that were desired by it's users. A short time passed and the users of certain newsgroups thought that this system would be ideal to share files with each other. It's easy to access newsgroups but unless you are familiar with them, navigating and downloading files from the newsgroups takes more effort than P2P. You can download from newsgroups using a newsreader, for example: NewsLeecher and Xnews. There are also pay news servers, these are faster and can hold up the files longer than free news servers. Free news servers can be quite fast, and pay news servers are even faster.
Not far up from peer-to-peer users we have the people who go to IRC for their warez. In general, these people intend to have a better knowledge about computers and the internet. Warez channels are often run by people who have access to a fair amount of pirated material.
There are generally two types of these channels. These can often feed by people from FXP boards or bad sites. First there are Fserve (user-to-user) channels. They mainly use the mIRC client's File Server function and some scripts to share their warez directly from their hard drives. Second there are XDCC (server-to-user) channels. These are usually run by people who are into FXP boards or in the scene. They have access to new warez. They employ people to hack into computers with fast internet connections and install XDCC servers (usually iroffer) which are used to share out pirated goods. There is a limited amount of people allowed to download a release at once, so when a release is popular you are placed into a waiting line. That way good download speeds will be guaranteed.
FXP stands for File eXchange Protocol. It isn't an actual protocol, just a method of transfer making use of a vulnerability in FTP. It allows the transfer of files between two FTP servers. Rather than client-to-server, the tranfer becomes server to server. The PXP'er just gives a command to one server to send files to the other server. FXP usually allows very fast transfer speeds although it totally depends on the connection of the servers. Still it's usually faster since the hackers are able to hack very fast servers. The FXP boards layer in the piracy food chain is quite unknown and therefore rather safe. Though the hacker's activities are very illegal, and therefore dangerous. Security is important. The members are usually a lot smarter than IRC-traders/P2P-users and have a greater knowledge about computers and internet.
The boards usually run a vBulletin forum with custom hacks. The boards usually don't work with a credit system. Though the admins do a user cleanup once in a while. The board's members consist of scanners, hackers, and fillers. They each have their own tasks:
The Scanner's job is to scan IP ranges where fast internet connection are known to lie (usually universities, company's, etc.) for vulnerable computers. We're talking about brute forcing passwords from programs, or scanning on ports for certain programs which contain a bug. The scanner will often use slow previously hacked computers for his scanning (known as scanstro's), using remote scan programs. Once the scanner has gotten his results, he'll post this at the board. This is where the Hacker comes into play.
Hackers are the people who break into computers. There are many easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities. Hackers get in to a computer using an exploit to get in via a program's bug. An exploit is a script which uses the bug to get in the PC. The program/exploit he uses (of course) depends upon the vulnerability the scanner has scanned for. When in, the hacker runs his rootkit (a modified version of Serv-U usually). This rootkit is the server where other people can download from. Most likely he will also install remote administrator software (ussually Radmin), so he can get in to the computer easily. Once the server is installed and working he'll post the admin login data to the FTP server on his FXP board. Depending on the speed of the compromised computer's (in other words a pubstro or stro) internet connection and the hard drive space, it will be used either by a filler or a scanner.
Now if the pubstro is fast enough and has enough hard drive space, it's the filler's job to get to work filling it with the latest warez. The filler gets his warez from other FTP servers hacked/filled by other people. Fillers sometimes have site access, and FXP releases from there to their pubstro. These people who are in sites and in FXP boards are considered corrupt, and if other sceners find out, they will be scenebanned (banned from all his sites). It is said that it happens quite often. Once he's done FXP'ing his warez, the filler goes back to the board and posts leech logins for one and all to use. Fillers (with site access) all try to post a release the first. It's kinda like a race, who ever wins it get the most credits. The speed of these pubstro's depend on how fast the hacked PC is. Hackers from these FXP boards are rather good, and are able to hack 100 mbit/s.
Pubbing is not so important anymore nowadays. These are the scan/hack/fill methods from the old days when many university and business FTP servers had write access enabled on anonymous FTP-servers. So instead of breaking into a computer, they would just upload their warez and give the IP address to their friends. This was very popular but died out for obvious reasons. It works like this; there is someone who scans for FTP servers with anonymous logins with write-access. Once found a pub would be tagged (a folder with the name "tagged.by." is created). The idea was that if a pub was already "tagged" other pubbers would leave it alone. This apparently worked for a while, with people respecting other people's tags and leaving the pubs alone. But it certainly stopped working in the long run.
A method against retagging is dir locking. This is used in pubbing to stop people which are not allowed to get into the directory of the tagger. There are a couple or dir locking tricks. The first and easiest is to make a maze. When you make a maze you just make a lot directories and other people would never know in what map your stuff is since you would have to try them all out. Second is UNIX tagging. That's about a the magical character, the ÿ (alt+0255) which is an escape character on UNIX machines. When give a directory a name containing that character, the name will be displayed different then when you typed it. The creator can get in by typing in the original name. Last is dir locking on NT systems. More about this and other dir locking here.
Next on the list and pretty much at the top or near the top are the site traders. Site trading is basically sending releases from one site to another. Release groups publish their releases on these sites, so they are the first stadium in the distribution of warez. From there on a release will be spread all over the world.
These sites have very fast internet connections. 10 mbit/s is considered the minimum, 100 mbit/s good, and anything higher pretty damn good. The sites have huge hard disk drives. 200 Gb would probably be the minimum, and they can get up to 5 terabytes. These sites are often hosted at schools, universities, people's work. These sites are referred to as being legit. This means that the owner of the computer knows that they are there and being run, which is the opposite of pubstro's. Fast connections mean a lot to some people. If you have access to a 100 mbit/s line (and are willing to run a warez server there), there are people who would quite happily pay for and have a computer shipped to you just for hosting a site that they will make absolutely no profit from. Commercial use of site access is not something common, most people do it just for fun, not to make money. Standard site software are GlFTPd and DrFTPd. As well as running FTPD, the sites run an eggdrop bot with various scripts installed. The bot will make an announcement on an IRC channel when a directory is made or upload completed. It will also give race information, since just like on FXP boards, the site traders try to send a release as quick as possible to another site. That way he will earn credits. The more credits, the more he can download. The speed between topsites can reach about 15 mbit/s.
There are basically three ranks in site trading: siteops, affiliates and racers. Siteops (Site-Operators) are the administrators. There are usually between two and five siteops per site. One is often the supplier of the site, another the person who found the supplier and guided them through the installation of the FTPD. The other will be friends and people involved in the scene. One or more of the siteops will be the nuker. It is his job to nuke any releases that are old or fake. Affiliates are the release groups who post their releases there right after they are finished. Racers are the people who will race releases between sites. Usually they will have access to a number of sites and will FXP a release as soon as they're released. FXP'ing a release will gain credits. The ratio is usually 1:3, so FXP'ing 3 Gb will get them 9 GB credits on the site. The race is to upload the most parts of the release at the fastest speed.
In the scene hierarchy section (paragraph 2.1) we already explained what a topsite is. Here we'll provide some more detailed information about topsites and their system, and the scene system. Security of course is a very important issue. Topsites are very private. A typical topsite configuration will only allow users to login from a certain host (or IP range), with SSL encryption on all FTP sessions. FTP bouncers are commonly used to hide the topsite's real IP address, and to share network load. Most users will connect through proxy's. That way the sites won't see their real IP-addresses.
All site members are present in the site's IRC channel. These channels are mostly located on private or very secure IRC servers, and you'll need to connect via SSL. Apart from SSL there are more security measures. You cannot just join the channel, you have to invite yourself, by using a command line when you are connected to the site. That way people who are not a member of the site, will not be able to join since it's secured with invite-only or with a channel key (password). The channels are often protected with FiSH. FiSH is a IRC addon which encrypts the messages in a channel. That way people who don't have the proper fish key, won't be able to read the messages. In that IRC channel, the members and site ops can talk to each other. Also there is a site eggdrop bot present, which will make an announcements when a releasegroup publishes a new release on the site, or announces when a members starts to upload a release. Also most sites will have an announce channel. This channel automatically displays the latest releases just after they're prepared. More about that below.
The site works with a credit system. Site-ops and commonly affiliated are exempt from this system, they have a free leech account. This credit system works according to a ratio. Most common is 1:3, this means when you upload 3 Gb, you can download (or FXP) 9 Gb. When a member doesn't pass the minimum monthly required amount of upload, he'll automatically be deleted. Credits can be lost by uploading a bad release which gets nuked. Nuke multiplier affects the amount of lost credits.
There are basically three ranks in site trading: siteops, affiliates and racers. Siteops (Site-Operators) are the administrators. There are usually between two and five siteops per site. One is often the supplier of the site, another the person who found the supplier and guided them through the installation of the FTPD. The other will be friends and people involved in the scene. One or more of the siteops will be the nuker. It is his job to nuke any releases that are old or fake. Affiliates are the release groups who post their releases there right after they are finished. Each affiliate has access to a private, hidden directory on the topsite. This directory is used for uploading new releases before they are made available to other users .When a new release has finished uploading on each of the group's sites, a command is executed to simultaneously copy it into a directory accessible by other users, and trigger an announcement in the top site IRC channel. This command is called the PRE-command. "To pre" refers to executing this command. Pre-releases may be also relayed to external pre-announce channels to inform other couriers/site members/users from FXP-boards that a new release is available for racing. The warez scene relies on strict release standards, or rules, which are written and signed by various warez groups. Racers are the people who will race releases between sites. Usually they will have access to a number of sites and will FXP a release as soon as they're released. FXP'ing a release will gain credits. The ratio is usually 1:3, so FXP'ing 3 Gb will get them 9 GB credits on the site. The race is to upload the most parts of the release at the fastest speed.
When a group pre's a release, the release will automatically be registered in the pre-database. This is huge database which contains all the releases ever release into the scene. This release databases records release names and their release date & time, although fields vary from database to database. Examples of other common fields include genres, sections, and nuke details. Release databases are maintained to provide release groups with a service for checking existing release titles, to avoid a dupe (duplicate). Also users are able to check whether or not, for example, a game was already released, the release date, the status (nuked or not) and more. Release databases are updated by automatic processes that either recurse selected topsites searching for new releases (spidering), or catch pre-release announcements from site channels.
If a group publishes a release which already has been released by another release group, it's a dupe (duplicate). Then the release will be nuked. This means that it's marked as a bad release. Release groups try to avoid nukes, since this will give them a bad reputation. Except for dupe, releases can be nuked for other reasons too. There are 2 types of nuke:
o Global Nuke:
o Nuked because of the release itself. It is nuked because something is wrong with the release, for example: sound errors, dupe, freezing video, bad rip, etc. If a group will find out there is something wrong, they can request a global nuke.
o Local Nuke:
o Nuked because of the environment. Individual sites will nuke for breaking their rules, for example: no repacks allowed, no games with languages other than English and Dutch, etc. So there is nothing wrong with the release. Because of these releases are nuked locally, they can still be traded on other sites.
The scene rules are the standards in the warez scene for releasing warez. These standards are the minimum requirements for a release. The scene rules are defined by groups of people who have been involved in its activities for several years and have established connections to large groups. These people form a committee, which creates drafts for approval of the large groups. In organized warez distribution, all releases must follow these predefined standards to become accepted material. The standards committee usually cycles several drafts and finally decides which is best suited for the purpose, and then releases the draft for approval. Once the draft has been signed by several bigger groups, it becomes ratified and accepted as the current standard. There are separate standards for each category of releases. The scene rules can be updated anytime, though it is most likely that the rules won't change more than 1 or 2 times a year.
Why these rules? The scene rules may seem a little strict, but they certainly are not there to bother rippers. There are several reasons why these rules exist:
The rules enforce high quality releases only, so no worries about corrupted files, an error or other bad stuff. Because the releases are divided into small parts you don't have to worry about re-downloading the whole release if something goes wrong. You can control that everything has been downloaded correctly by checking against the SFV-file. Hence you will always know whether you've gotten a complete uncorrupt release of what you were downloading. The rules lead to a standardized way of sharing, which the people who download obviously benefit greatly from. You will learn to recognize a good release and be spared the inconvenient trouble/surprise of poorly ripped movies by amateurs. Scene releases always contain all the information about how it's ripped, what the quality is etc. This way you always know what you're downloading. You can find rule sets here.
Original releases are rips of movies, programs, games and music, all released by groups specialized in creating these kinds of releases, so called release groups. A release is the full package of a ripped game, movie etc. These releases are all created in a standard way, according to the scene rules. That way the tag (directory name) and the included info file directly give you a lot of information about the release type, the source and so on.
First there is the actual content. Most big releases with the size of a CD or DVD are released as an image, mostly in .ISO or .IMG format. Basically an image is a complete backup of a CD/DVD. They can be burned (Nero, Alcohol 120%) or mounted (Alcohol 120%, Daemon Tools). The content it's often packed into compressed files for easy spreading. Also it contains an info file which will tell the downloader all about what's in the release, how it's created and what the quality is. More about how a release looks like here.
To ensure the quality of a release, there are the scene rules which are set up by the release groups. These scene rules exactly tell how a release should be prepared for the scene. This is the big advantage of scene releases, you'll always get high quality.
All those scene releases have to be ordered in a clear system, so it's easy to look something up. Therefore the releases are categorized in the categories below.
The most important categories are:
o TVRip: A rip from a television show
o Movie: Movie in video format
o Apps: Applications
o Games: PC games
o Console Games: Games for consoles
o DVDr: DVDs
o MP3: Music albums/singles/vinyls/livesets/etc
o 0day: 0day refers to software, videos, music, or information released or obtained on the day of public release.
There are even more categories but they are less important. Such as: VHS (A VHS-videotape rip), PSP-movies, XVCD and previous generation console games like PSX (PlayStation 1), DC (Dreamcast games). MDVDr, XXX and Anime sometimes are also defined as a category. In fact it's a movie/DVDr, but since they are a little different from regular movies they are sometimes considered as unique categories. The same goes for MDVDr (Music DVDr) which is different from regular movies but it's still DVDr, and the same story for MViD (Music Video) but then video.
The way a release is build up is in some ways dependent on what section it belongs to. Common, for all releases except music, is that the release (i.e. the game, program, movie etc.) is always archived in a number of RAR-archives. This has been done to facilitate the actual download of the release, and in some cases is also due to tradition.
A release always contains:
o A main directory:
o All the files from a release are placed into 1 directory. The name of this directory is equal to the release name. There are certain rules concerning the release names. This is done so that all necessary information will be included in all releases. Uniformity creates a clear distinction – imagine if all groups would have their own ways of naming releases. This is also done to ensure the release on different kinds of platforms. Some of these can't cope with special letters, as å, ä, ö or blank spaces. To prevent the risk of getting an error only a certain set of symbols are allowed. These are:
o SFV-file (.sfv):
o SFV stands for Simple File Validator and is used to check files if they became corrupt after transfer. It does this by doing a CRC (cyclic redundancy check). After the check it displays which files contain CRC-errors and therefore are corrupt. It's also used on FTP servers/sites to check the progress of downloads or uploads.
o NFO Info-file (.nfo):
o An NFO file is a text file with information about the release. The files are designed by ASCII artists and can be read with Damn NFO Viewer or simply with notepad.
o WinRAR-file (.rar):
o A RAR file is a data compression archive format. The actual content is packed into a RAR-archive. Usually they are split to multiple RAR volumes with a certain size (15 or 50 mb is standard). Scene releases are packed into RAR files, but they are not compressed.
Not all types of releases are created in the same way. There are a lot of resemblances between them, but there are also some differences. Some are essential for that type or release, other things are the way they are because of tradition. Let's have a look at the individual release types:
o The MP3 releases are the only ones which aren't tagged into RAR files. MP3 releases are tagged with _ to replace the spaces, instead of . with most types of releases. Most MP3 releases contain .JPG scans of the front/back/inside covers of the CD. MP3 releases contain MP3 files, and also M3U files. M3U playlist file (.m3u):
o An .m3u file basically is just a text file that lists all MP3 files. If the .m3u file is loaded to a media player, the player plays the list of media files in the order they are listed in the playlist.
o Movies – DVDr – TVRip:
o These releases are all in RAR archives. Most common, they are split into 15 mb RAR files. For DVD5 50 mb is standard, and for DVD9 100mb. These releases (can) contain:
o Sample in a subfolder "Sample":
o This folder contains a sample of the movie. This way it's easy to check the quality of a release. The size of the sample is most of the time the same as the size per RAR, so 50mb if it’s a DVD5.
o JPG Cover in a subfolder "Cover":
o This folder contains the scan(s) of the cover of the source, most common in .JPG format.
o Subtitles in a subfolder "Subs":
o This folder contains the sub(s) of a movie. This is only for DiVX, XviD etc and not for DVD. The subtitle files are text files which can be loaded onto the movie, using programs like BS Player. When a DVD is more than 1 disc, there are sub folders in the main folder: DISC1, DISC2 etc. Same goes for CD: CD1, CD2 etc.
o PC Games – Console Games – Apps:
o Nothing new about this, they contain the .SFV file, .NFO file and are in rar files. Most games and applications are tagged with . and most console games are tagged with a _, but 0day apps are a little different though. Most of them don't contain a .SFV file, but a .DIZ file instead. Also apps and games can contain subfolders like CD1/CD2.
.DIZ file file_id (.diz): o File_id.diz is a plain text file containing a brief content description of the archive in which it is included.
A releasegroup simply is a group of people which releases warez such as movies, games applications, or music on the internet. IRC is the group's medium to stay in contact with each other. The size of a group varies, some groups have just 5 people, others maybe 20. Mostly the members of the group don't know each other in real life. Trust is a highly important issue. Since the group's activities aren't legal, the team members have to be able to rely on each other. If one member gets caught, the other ones are in big trouble too, so security has high priority. This means that for example they talk on private IRC servers or through a bouncer, and they connect to their sites through proxy's. In the group, every team member has his own task.
o Leader: The leader decides the main directions for the group. The leader is not a dictator, he won't decide everything by himself. He also has to keep the group together, and keep the individual members satisfied.
o Supplier: The supplier is the group's source. He often has pre access to the game/movie/etc, but this is not necessary. It's also possible that this is someone who sneaks into the cinema and films the movie. The top groups have pre access. Their supplier might work at a DVD plant, a DVD review magazine, or a DVD rental store. The supplier gives the game/movie/etc to the other team members.
o Cracker: The cracker breaks the security. Not all groups have a cracker. Crackers are required to release games, applications and alike.
o Encoder: The encoder rips and converts the movie so it's suitable for the web. Encoders are just in movies/DVDr groups.
o Packager: The packager packs the release and adds the essential files and information.
o Courier: The courier pre's and spreads the release all over the world via FTP.
This is just a global overview, it's not the same for every group. Music releases for example are often quite simple to create and multiple tasks can be done by 1 person.
Scene art are digitally produced images. Of course they are not just created by release groups. As a result of the artscene's early affiliations with hacker and software piracy organizations, the digital art is quite attached to the scene. There are two types of art types used for the scene. First here is ASCII art and second there is ANSI art.
ASCII art is an artistic medium that are graphics pieced together from the 95 printable characters defined by ASCII. ASCII art is used in the release group's NFO file. The standard viewer for NFO files is Damn NFO Viewer, but you can also view them with Notepad.
NFO files were first introduced by the release group THG (The Humble Guys) with their release of the PC game Bubble Bobble. This NFO file was a replacement of the more common readme.txt files. Nowadays the NFO file is like a signature of the group, so it's important to have a cool and good-looking nfo. A typical modern day NFO file is elaborate and highly decorated, with usually a large logo at the top with all the release-related information below.
As computer technology developed, monitors were available that could display color. Eventually, text artists began incorporating this new level of flexibility to the existing medium of ASCII art by adding color to their text-based art, or animating their art by manipulating the cursor control codes. Quite simply, this is what is commonly referred to today as ANSI art.
The majority of the early created ANSI art were distributed as coded executables called loaders or intros/cracktro's. A crack intro, also known as a cracktro, loader, or just intro, is a small introduction sequence added to cracked software, designed to inform the user which release group or individual cracker was responsible for removing the software's copy prevention and distributing the crack. Cracking groups would use the intros not just to gain credit for cracking, but to advertise their bulletin boards, greet friends, and to give themselves recognition.