– IRC News

All about Internet Relay Chat

InspIRCd releases 1.2.0rc2 "PepperSteik"

Little over 4 weeks after their last release of rc1 in the 1.2 branch, the InspIRCd project announces a new release candidate of their IRCd.

The release, called “PepperSteik”, is a recommended update since it – among a few new features – also fixes a security issue were other linked IRCds wouldn’t have their password checked on connect. There also have been a few bugs fixed which further adds to the IRCds stability.

Developer w00t calls the following items the “most notable new features” in this release:

  • Add fantasy:allowbots (to allow +B users to use fantasy <alias> commands)
  • Allow forced nick changes to override mode +N, nicklock, etc
  • Allow non-opers to use /MKPASSWD
  • Add /SAKICK command (provided by m_sakick)
  • Operoverride OTHERMODE is no longer required in addition MODEOP to op/deop/etc. people

Another developer nicknamed danieldg has joined the development team since the last release – w00t thanks him “for his sterling contributions over the past week” and hopes that he “feels welcome and will stay around for a very long time”.

The full changelog can be found here and the direct link to the download is here. There currently is no Windows binary build available due to them “not having the usual build infrastructure in place” but it will be provided “as soon as is possible”.

InspIRCd releases 1.2rc1 "Sirloin"

Today the InspIRCd project announced the availability of 1.2rc1 of their IRCd, named “Sirloin”.

Developer w00t writes in the newspost that “after a slightly longer development cycle than normal, we are proud as punch to announce that 1.2 has finally hit RC stage”. They consider this release “essentially feature-complete, and that relatively, the number of bugs is lower than in beta phase” but also note that “it’s not a final release yet, so you may still encounter some rough edges or bugs, we do ask that you report those to us on our bugtracker, so they may be addressed!”.

He also likes “to give a big thanks to all the people that have helped and supported us over the past few years with getting to this point – it has been a huge undertaking, and there have been good and bad times for all, but it’s finally paying off we feel.”

“In particular, I’d like to thank our QA, docs, and testers for the stellar work they have put in, it has been a huge difference from the days of old where we did everything ourselves, and one that I feel is much more enjoyable for all involved.” w00t adds.

The major bugfixes in this release, which according to them is “primarily a fix-based release from 1.2b4″, contain the following items:

  • Minor memory leak
  • Expire XLines when accessed, not just when matched, to prevent a large buildup of stale XLines
  • Allow +l 0 (for use with things like +PlL #newchan)
  • Fix poll socket engine to work correctly
  • Fix undefined memory read on /stats :
  • kqueue fixes
  • Don’t allow bad censor configurations to result in an infinite loop
  • STARTTLS fixes
  • Change numeric for +L to be easier to parse (and more standardised: freenode and others use this)
  • Fix autoconnects triggering at the wrong time
  • Numerous docs typos and updates
  • Small security hole where /oper allowed /oper login <hash> to oper up
  • Allow binding to all IPv4 IPs easily on an IPv6 compile
  • Disallow silly messageflood parameters
  • And more!

But, besides aforementioned bugfixes, this new version sports new features too – for one, a GUI for the Windows version of the IRCd. You now can, as you could with version 1.1, have the IRCd running in the background without the need to have the GUI part running. Additionally, you now can make the IRCd a system service on Windows 2000 and above. According to the entry in the Wiki the GUI provides not “just the usual stop, start, rehash and shut down commands you’d expect, the GUI now features fully fledged statistics, performance and attack monitoring, and other features usually only found in commercial IRC software such as IRCXPro and ConferenceRoom.”

Closing his announcement he writes that they “would like to encourage smaller networks who are more concerned with new toys than stability to take the time to evaluate 1.2″ and mentions that this new version “is now in operation on a number of smaller networks, and so far, signs are encouraging”. He also says that “no major problems have been reported for a while, which is also a good thing” but to “keep in mind that it is *still* not a finished product”.

InspIRCd 1.2rc1+Sirloin can be downloaded from here and this is the link to the full changelog.

How to protect an IRC network from spam

Dealing with spam is something every IRC network had to do in the past, present or even maybe in the future.

If it is somebody that is trying to give your network a bad name, a trojan horse that tries to infect your users or just someone that tries to annoy you and your users doesn’t quite matter, spam probably has been an issue as long as IRC has existed.

Luckily, there are quite a few methods and ways to counter-act on it.

First thing should be educating your users to not click on anything that has been sent to them unsolicited – or performing any commands that promise them to “get free ops” and what else is going to be tempting to some – or they also might unwillingly and unknowingly join the spammers.

There are many (semi-) automated means to combat spam, mostly depending on what software you use – or are willing to use – on your network.

Some IRCd’s, such as Unreal or InspIRCd, already have built-in functionality to filter spam in any part that is visible to other IRCers – those however require that someone notices the spam and adds a regular expression to block and act upon it.

Completely automated ways to combat drones and malicious users include setting up a proxy scanner using DNS blacklists, or DNSBLs for short. There are extensive lists of various blacklists available on the internet but only some of them are meant to be used exclusively for IRC so choose wisely.

But what if the IRCd of your choice doesn’t support spamfilters and you don’t want to use DNS-based blacklists? IRCDefender is a software that could provide you with such functionality by adding a “pseudo-server” to your network which sole purpose would be checking for spam and everything else you configure it to do.

Neostats is another service that can help you combat malicious activity – it might even already be installed so you only would need to add the SecureServ module to it to have an additional layer of protection available.

So, since preventing spam also somewhat pertains to security, the same rules apply to it: you rather have a few layers to prevent something bad from happening than depend on a single line of defense.

Please share your tips what you do about spam on your network as well as stuff i might have missed :)

  Copyright secured by Digiprove

AustNet Moves to InspIRCd

After being based on a modified IRCu for a long period of time, AustNet moves to an InspIRCd based IRCd. IRC-Junkie asks AustNet’s Praetorian about the how, why and what of this change.

“The previous IRCd that was in use, Austhex 7, had served AustNet for quite a long period,” Praetorian explains. “it was modified quite a bit, to accommodate things that were unique to AustNet, such as “helpers”, and virtual world, which when implemented, was quite unique for its time.”

Being so heavily modified it also offered serious challenges in the last days of its use. Sections of its code became so outdated modern compilers had problems compiling the code.

The decision was made for a move to InspIRCd. In the spirit of the old IRCd again changes have been made to the IRCd. However, “the number of changes to the standard codebase is quite small, and this assist us in being able to keep tracking against their SVN/Releases.”

Most of the changes are in the form of modules, some of which are embraced by the InspIRCd people and will be put into the core IRCd in a future release.

The new IRCd (named Austhex 8) is received well by AustNet’s users because of long awaited features. Praetorian explains: “Registered Nick modes, and preventing of being messaged by unregistered users (to prevent spam), Dynamic connection allowances to limit at the IRCd on a network level, the number of clients allows from an IP/Subnet/Mask (many IRCd’s tend to do this at a services level, where all clients end up killed, or even glined for going over. This functionality removes this, and simply denies the connection).”

The change took a bit longer then the network initially expected. One reason of the delay was a changing approach to the change from the network, the other “due to some less-that-mature code that was in the Inspircd releases.”

Part of this was due to syncing the “fork” against an old release of InspIRCd which saw many changes over time. “it was a necessary evil in order to accommodate a number of very important changes.”

The post with the announcement and practical changes for its userbase can be found here.

Yeah Right >:)

Obviously that was a lame attempt at an April Fool’s joke >:)

Naturally IRC-Junkie wasn’t the only one attempting:

InspIRCd announced The WOW Starts Now! The project would turn commercial with paid version ranging from Home Basic to Commercial. A free version named Basic would remain available. W00t explained: “It will continue to be available free for those of the world who cannot afford to pay for licencing. It includes an executable file built for redhat 5.1 on the 286 architecture with egcs 1.0 which may or may not work. YMMV.”

Undernet announced over WALLUSERS the merger with QuakeNet: “DuCkTaPe $ In 5 minutes undernet will be going offline for approximately 8 hours to facilitate our merger with quakenet. All quakenet channels will be given existing Undernet channels. Sorry for the inconvenience and we’ll be back soon.” Naturally over wallops some user comments were shared like concerns over loosing their channels and others.

QuakeNet announced a new sponsorship setup, Meeb on the network website: “From today all users who use our channel service Q will have to agree to our new terms and conditions which state your details on QuakeNet are solely owned by us. We will be setting your hostname to paid adverts. This is a unique advertising model allowing you to pay for as many ‘impressions’ as suits your marketing budget. Your advertisements will be in shown as the host names of users on the network, allowing for a subtle yet powerful delivery of your message to an active and rich demographic.”

Got any others? Add them below as a comment!