IRC Security

original version at http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/security/

This page covers information for the safe and responsible use of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and other “chat rooms”. Maybe you were referred here because you suspect your security has been compromised, or maybe you just want to make sure you are safe. The following major topics are covered here:

mIRC Exploit News

This page covers some late breaking news of mIRC exploits, especially those which have not been patched yet by official fixes from the author.

Trojan Horse Attacks

Trojan horses are attractively disguised files which cause harmful consequences if you download and run them, e.g. takeover of your IRC channels, erasing of your hard disk, etc. Learn more about these attacks and how to undo the damage.

Denial of Service Attacks (Nukes) Denial of service attacks or “nukes” make networked computers disconnect or crash. Learn how to defend yourself against these attacks.

Downloading Files from IRC The biggest threat to IRC security ironically has nothing to do with the protocol or software itself. It is what people do with IRC, e.g. downloading of illegal files. This can lead to legal problems, trojan horse viruses, denial of service attacks, etc. For your own good, learn these hard facts about file trading.

Firewall FAQ Technical discussion of problems involved with using IRC from behind a proxy, firewall, or NAT gateway. Includes links for specific fixes for identd and DCC problems.

Home Computer Security [ext. link] General guide to securing your home computer - written in plain English by CERT which is an authoritative center of Internet security expertise. Covers the proper use of anti-virus and firewall programs, how to keep your system patched, and other important issues.

Home Network Security [ext. link] From same source as above but more detailed and technical.

General IRC Security [ext. link] This page describes why security is important on IRC, and provides general suggestions for how to secure your home computer/network.

Parent’s Guides [all ext. links] Some sites with good information for parents to ensure their kids are chatting safetly and properly.

Backdoors in IRC Backdoors in IRC clients/scripts/bots allow others to gain unauthorized access to your computer to do harm to yourself or others. This guide illustrates the dangers of blindly using other people’s scripts etc.

CIAC-2318 IRC On Your Dime? [ext. link to PDF file] Intended for system administrators who want to learn about IRC abused by crackers. Non-technical and assumes no IRC knowledge, but not useful or interesting to general IRC users.

Logging and Reporting IRC Abuse How to record abuse on IRC and then submit it to an IRC operator, including advice regarding takeovers, flooding, nuking, profanity, etc.

Hackers on IRC Think you’re an IRC “hacker” or want to become one? See what it’s all about from somebody who actually knows what “hacking” is all about.