Introduction to Internet Relay Chat

Internet Relay Chat works using a standardized IRC protocol (Internet RFC 1459 ) that allows almost any Internet computer to host an IRC server process. Each server can belong to a series of IRC servers to form a network. Each network has at least dozens of channels (if not, tens of thousands) that anyone can join, each pertaining to a particular topic. Channel names always begin with the # symbol. Each IRC user can easily create their own channel and invite participants. By default, channels are PUBLIC and available to anyone logging into the IRC network, but they can be made INVITE-ONLY . Every user picks a Nickname to use as their online representative, and it can be changed at anytime. A user can also choose to be Invisible and be assigned a random nickname. Nicknames must be unique within a network.

In order to use IRC, you have to install an IRC client program and be connected to the Internet. You start the client and connect to a particular IRC server. There are thousands of servers and hundreds of networks to choose from. You connect to a server and your client will usually LIST all the available channels that you can join. You can then JOIN a channel and begin to participate.

IRC Networks

Of the Instant Messaging types, IRC and AIM are attacked the most. AIM mostly suffers attacks against the channel itself. Malicious hackers want to disrupt private communications and create disruption within individual user’s sessions. IRC has that ...

Get Malicious Mobile Code now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.