I’ve seen on several online forums folks talking about how the modern 0day scene is dying. While the current 0day scene may not be as powerful as what it was about 10 years back, it is far from dead. There are plenty of quality groups out there such as CORE (Challenge Of Reverse Engineering), ZWT (Zero Waiting Time), CRD (Crude), etc who still pwn supposedly un-breakable software protection schemes within minutes. However, scene groups follow a strict set of rules and regulations when releasing cracks or key generators for software. For those who are interested, here are the updated zero day release rules for year 2010. It’d still be useful even if you aren’t interested in scene regulations – the document explains some of the common terminology associated with 0-day releases you probably download every day :)
Note: We re-formatted the original NFO to ensure readability after publishing on the blog.
This is intended as an addendum to the existing 0day rules. All the old rules are still valid, unless they have been altered or updated by this addendum. The 0day scene has gone through major changes in this decade. As technologies have changed, so have we, but our adaptations have left many grey areas in the current rules. The last rules update was years ago when programs were much smaller and transfer speeds much lower. The existing 0day rules did not address problems of software encountered today, simply because at that date it did not exist. These changes have led to a series of loopholes which groups have been taking advantage of. The new rules we constructed aim to close these loopholes, as well as increase the general quality level of releases in the scene.
This document covers a new ruleset for 0day. These rules and guidelines are intended for release-groups in the first place, and sites secondary. We hope that in time many sites will take over the majority of these rules. The following groups have signed and committed to following these rules:
ACME AiR AGAiN ALiAS ARN BACKLASH BEAN BLiZZARD BRD CORE CRD CROSSFiRE DIGERATI DVT EMBRACE FALLEN FAS iNViSiBLE LND
MESMERiZE NGEN NULL ORiON OUTLAWS RiTUEL ROGUE
SHOCK SSG TBE UNLEASHED VACE ZWT
These rules will go into effect starting January 31st, 2010.
Developer.Name is only mandatory if the application name is not unique enough for duping. Groups should use some common sense to keep the directory name reasonable length.
The program name should be the official name of the application. Do not omit dashes, think of your dupe results.
The Language tag must be used only on NON english releases. Multilingual and bilingual are optional.
- Currently valid OS tags are:
- Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2k, WinXP, Win2k3, Vista, Win2k8, Win7 (can have an optional tag for more specific edition)
- Open.Enterprise.Server (NetWare)
The Operating.System tag should be omitted when WinAll ( NT5 based windows and optionally earlier, always with latest official service pack). Using a UnixAll ( all of the operating systems above, excluding Windows, Linux or MacOSX) or a WinAll tag means your app *must* run on *all* of the operating systems that fall under it.
CPU should be omitted when x86, must be x64 for x86_64/EM64T, but not IA64! Currently valid CPU tags are:
- x86, x64, IA64, PPC, SPARC, SPARC64, RISC, Alpha
Release.Type can be omitted for Crack/Regged, but is mandatory for keygen releases. Possible tags are:
- Keygen.Only Keymaker.Only
- Incl.Keygen Incl.Keymaker
- Incl.Keygen.and.Patch Incl.Keymaker.and.Patch
Additional.Tags like READ.NFO, DIRFIX, NFOFIX.. must go as follows:
You can use underscores or dots as seperator in the releasename, but do not mix them if there is no reason for it (e.g. a program name contains underscores and your seperator is a dot is a valid reason to mix)
The lists in this section are by no means complete. They are here to serve as a guideline for proper dirname construction.
Filenames must be amed up to a maximum of 8.3 characters (filename/extension). Acceptable compression format at this time is any compression method that supports multiple volumes and long file names, followed by the traditional PKZIPing. Compressions other than RAR should include an extract utility or be a self-extracting archive.
The traditional packaging methods (zip/diz) shall be maintained, with a diz file being present in each zip. The diz file should contain as a bare minimum the number of the current disk and the maximum number of disks.
Suggested file_id.diz layout is as follows:
[xx/??], where ?? is the total nr of disks in the release. The total number of lines of your diz should not exceed 30.
On a side note: using ridiculous compressions that will save 10 disks but takes 10 hours to unpack are not an acceptable solution.
Allowed split volume sizes are:
- 1,444,000 bytes
- 2,888,000 bytes
- 5,000,000 bytes
- 10,000,000 bytes
- 50,000,000 bytes
The utils disk limit is as of now 70 x 5,000,000 bytes or 35 x 10,000,000 bytes. This equates to a total of 350,000,000 bytes of compressed data. Oversize releases are allowed when no ISO release exists and the group (or an iso group they work with) is not in possession of the iso to release. In other words, there is NO size limit for 0day apps, except when an iso exists!
The games disk limit is as of now 80 x 5,000,000 bytes or 40 x 10,000,000 bytes. This equates to a total of 400,000,000 bytes of compressed data. Any release should have less than 100 volumes. In case 10,000,000 bytes do not suffice, you are allowed to use volumes of larger size; up to 50,000,000 bytes.
A size proper is valid when a group manages to reduce the size of the original release by at least 30 without sacrificing essential content:
- Documentation, help files, and other non functional items can be ripped from a release to decrease size. No functional parts of an application may be ripped.
- C++ redistributables, .NET framework, and other common operating system components may be ripped. The nfo should note what has been ripped and optionally include an url where it can be downloaded.
- A documentation addon is only allowed if the documentation cannot be downloaded freely and publicly (without registration) from the developers website.
Specific Release Type
All of these releases should provide functionality identical to that of a fully licensed copy.
- Cracked: The program file has been altered to register the program. Any nags/trial limitations should be removed. Any remnants of Trial in the app need to be removed. Any phone-home checks should be disabled!
- Regged: Any way to make an application registered without requiring
modification of any of the applications executables/libraries. Must include a text file with the required information, serials should not be put in the release nfo. Please name this file carefully, as to deter possible webspiders looking for serial information.
- Keygen: A small standalone program which generates valid serials/keyfiles which are based on user input or hardware id.
- Keygens can be written in any language but they should be native executables for the OS the application is meant for: Linux keygens for Linux applications, Mac keygens for Mac applications, etc. This means that if you do not follow this suggestion, you could get propered. However, you wont be nuked if there is no native keygen available.
- A keygen that generates a system-dependant serial must explicitly warn the user of this fact, either in the nfo OR at runtime.
- Windows keygens in java are allowed if the the program is coded in java or uses java. Same with any other interpreter language. If a library is included with the latest windows install, as is the case for VB6/.NET/VBScript currently, then keygens written in these languages are allowed without question. The motivation here is that a scene release should run on a clean OS install, introducing no additional dependencies other than those imposed by the application being released.
- A console-based application that usually runs on headless systems (servers, etc) requires a console-based keygen.
- Generic Keygens (All.Products) are allowed and dupe full releases for as long as the generic keygen continues to work for *every* application it was intended for.
- Keygen.Only releases are releases that only contain the actual keygen, no installation files. They are meant as an addition to previous Crack/Regged releases.
- A Keygen.and.Patch release combines a keygen with a crack to enable full functionality. You are still allowed to release a keygen.only for these releases.
- Retail: A store-bought supply is included in this release. You are allowed to release a retail after a previous release if there is an added benefit to using the retail version. In this case you are required to add a READ.NFO tag to your dirname and list the benefits when compared to the previous release.
- PROPER/WORKING: a proper of a previous scene-release that was not fully working should always include adequate proof and information for nukers to test and confirm the validity of the proper. This means including screenshots, pieces of code, or clear steps to reproduce the problems that occur with the release you are propering.
- READ.NFO: If you label a release READ.NFO, please have a clearly stated section in your nfo on what the READ.NFO is all about, dont make people guess. If you want people to read it for a certain reason, make sure they can.
If a developer has not mentioned default or minimum requirements for operating system, the default is Windows XP, which is also a minimum.
If a program supports Windows Operating Systems before WinXP, then your crack *should* work on them aswell.
Optional: combine multiple operating system versions for the same CPU in 1 release if it remains within size limits, for example:
- FreeBSD5,6,7 x86 can be in a single release tagged FreeBSD
If the installers are freely downloadable (available without registration) and the same keygen/crack works for every version, consider only including the latest version of the OS.
Please keep in mind that the contents of .tar.gz, .rpm, .deb and any other packaging system are generally identical. Please make a note in your nfo in case of exceptions.
MU stands for Minor Update. This term denotes an update of a previously released application within a certain time-period, the MU-period. Major updates are allowed regardless of the last time a previous version was released. In this case, the nfo should include some motivation for considering this a major update (security- and stability-critical hotfixes for instance)
MU-period of 1 month, disregarding the number of days in a month. Examples:
- a release on 2010-01-01 will be out of mu on 2010-02-01
- a release on 2010-01-15 will be out of mu on 2010-02-15
- a release on 2010-01-29 will be out of mu on 2010-02-28
- a release on 2010-01-31 will be out of mu on 2010-02-28
- a release on 2010-02-28 will be out of mu on 2010-03-28
- a release on 2010-03-31 will be out of mu on 2010-04-30
This ensures no more than a single release of the same application per month, while keeping duping simple.
The minor update period is counted from the last valid release which contained the software itself. In other words, keymaker.only releases are not considered.
If the age of the last modified file of an installed program is older than one (1) year it is not allowed to pre it without a READ.NFO or INTERNAL tag.
A group should release the newest version of the software available. Exceptions are possible when the software is not available publicly, or if it was never released before, which *must* be mentioned in the nfo-file. This means you can release an older version of an application, but *only* if it is newer than any existing release of the same app, and you have a valid reason for not releasing the latest version (for instance, it is very hard to get the supply, or the application takes months to crack).
There is a grace-period of 3 days: if a new version came out in the last 3 days before your release, you will not get nuked if you release the older one.
Releases should provide the same functionality as a retail copy of the application (where possible and reasonable). Examples:
- a virus scanner must be able to update
- a flexlm application should include every useful feature
- a keygen should provide either all, or the best license (watermarks are still allowed)
Your nfo should provide a minimum of useful information, including:
- (complete) application name
- (complete) version, including if it is a beta version
- the release date
- type of crack included
- short description of the application/game
- description on how to use the crack (important!)
- operating systems this release will work on
- pre-requisites for the application/game
- url to the applications website
If you do not want your work to be used by other groups (be it documents, cracking methods, tools, or similar), then make sure you don't give it out to anyone you cant trust. It is deemed public property as soon as it is publicly available, and you lose any exclusive rights to it.
Stealing cracks/keygens from P2P, WEB, or other scene groups is clearly not allowed!
Security should be everyones primary concern. Including nicknames or identities of people that have not given explicit permission in your nfos is absolutely not allowed, and may result in severe repercussions.
A big thanks to everyone involved in creating this document!
Last modified: 10 January 2010
All releases pre’d after 31 January 2010 will be based on the updated set of rules. Anything that does not comply will likely get nuked.