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#20858 - 25/04/03 04:05 PM mIRC and MSN
ParaBrat Offline
Planetary brain

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: BratLand
Quite some time ago, MSN took down the IRC server that allowed users to access their chat using mIRC. In an email from them, they clearly stated they want to limit access to msn chat to their software only. According to them, in response to the question of chat clients (and which can be found in their help files): MSN Chat works only with the MSN Chat software, which you must download to enter MSN chat rooms. A portion of their latest email:
"The new release of MSN Chat does not support access by Win32 clients commonly referred to as scripts (mIRC), bots, or shims. We understand that some of our users prefer to use custom chat clients to connect to the MSN Chat service, but due to widespread abusive behavior and disruptions that these clients can cause in our service, we have decided to prevent access by chat clients that are not supported by MSN."

It comes as no surprise that ways to evade that policy have been created. However, do not expect us to help you with those scripts, or with problems you encounter on MSNchat while using them. We have no way of knowing anything about the script you are using, how it effects mIRC, or the protocols/commands/features on msn chat, nor will we help you get around their policies.
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#20859 - 27/04/03 03:40 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
Watchdog Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 2984
Loc: Hill End, NSW, Australia
For the most part I can see why MSN did this. Every time I used to stop by there I was ping-flooded to oblivion and every channel there was crawling with clones. By my way of thinking the opers there (if any) did stuff-all to solve the problem.

Moving on, MSN has an Australian based setup called 9MSN, which is a partnership with MSN itself and the Nine TV Network and that entity had a well-run IRC server very similar to where I chat these days as far as policies go, ie: No warscripts, no filesharing and channels were system generated which meant that users could not own channels. It was a place to go to chat, not build up an empire. There was around 1000 concurrent connections and the scroll in every room flew by. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. 9MSN scrapped that in favour of what exists now even before MSN did and it was just plain stupid because they did not suffer the issues that MSN did.

Anyway, that is the history lesson. The lesson for for the IRC community is that if there are going to be people that want to stuff around and cause trouble (and there are) then this ruins things for the rest of us. Because of MSN's global shift to it's ActiveX based chats there is at least two fewer IRC servers in the world. Telstra's Efnet node was another place I once frequented and all of a sudden it was gone. I am led to believe it was hacked. And for what? No gain at all apart form the personal satisfaction of one individual.

People who log into MSN with mIRC are doing favours for no-one. To me this is no different to avoiding a ban. Quite clearly there is an intention that the service is NOT meant for chat programmes and the continued use of these on networks like MSN will only lead to further restrictions being placed on otherwise loyal users which will do no-one any good at all.

Full marks to Parabrat for her post. grin


Edited by ParaBrat (02/07/03 06:01 PM)
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#20860 - 02/07/03 01:50 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
pheonix Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 2265
Another reason it may have been banned, is because people used to crack the ownerkey in a room and then take it.
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#20861 - 02/07/03 03:54 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
Unit649 Offline
Pikka bird

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 15
Loc: Stockton, CA
I know they also had major spamming issues-They had more porn spam on there in a minute than you would see in a hour on Dalnet-it was constant. People would connect there just to spam-and the staff they had couldn't nearly keep up. Usually you would join a channel and there would be maybe 3 out of the 20 people in it talking-the rest were spamming you onjoin.

I wonder also if perhaps the major DDos didn't start with Dal either-if maybe MSN got a little of that and cut their losses by changing formats also. It wouldn't surprise me, though if I was M$ I would have studied it and tried to combat it.

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#20862 - 02/07/03 06:05 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
ParaBrat Offline
Planetary brain

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: BratLand
DALnet wasnt the first or the last network to be attacked, that kind of crud has been going on for a long time. Stopping it isnt as easy as you would think.
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#20863 - 06/07/03 02:10 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
Strider Offline
Vogon poet

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 155
Loc: Tijuana, México
Quote:
Another reason it may have been banned, is because people used to crack the ownerkey in a room and then take it.

No such thing ever happened. If a user lost a channel was either because of stupidity, DoS attacks, floods, or a reset after a netsplit.

MSN alone caused everything when they decided to suspend the channel registration, making it possible for users to take over channels. They also retired all of their sysops, which lead to no control at all over DoS attacks and trojan bots.

Some users, later, started attacking the servers in order to cause a netsplit and, eventually, a network reset just to use their splitbots (as they used to call them) to take a channel. Everytime they failed, they repeated the process.

Most of the trojan bots on MSN (which were thousands) were specifically meant to take channels on server resets. Some of them also had UDP flood attacks. But of course, the reason these bots existed was because there were no sysops, and channel registration was unexistant.

Another reason why all of this happened was because the client that was "meant" (although not entirely) to be used with that network (Microsoft Chat) had no flood protection at all. It was easy for a _single_ mIRC user to flood a whole channel full of cchatters (comic-chatters).

The moment the network lost its main purpose was the moment that they closed it. Users who wanted to comic-chat weren't allowed to do it anymore. They would get flooded or "bluescreened" (with a Win95 and Win98 vulnerability) almost upon connecting. And as if it weren't enough, not even mIRC users were able to chat freely anymore without being disturbed in some way (Spam, attempts of being flooded, ICMP "nukes", often network splits,...).

Another thing worth mentioning is that the Microsoft Exchange Chat Service Server 5.5 has a very serious bug [details deleted by moderator]. Of course, this bug doesn't compare with the bug that [moderator edit]. Maybe the former was the reason why there were no sysops online. I mean, there is a lot of people who are more than willing to attack a sysop, with no reason at all.

Anyway, this is just an opinion of a user who spent years and "grew up" (Internet-wise) on that network.


Edited by Strider (06/07/03 03:46 AM)

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#20864 - 06/07/03 02:46 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
ParaBrat Offline
Planetary brain

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: BratLand
I deleted the details of the potential exploits you mentioned. There is no justification for posting bug exploits on a public forum for others to get ideas from.

The reasons behind MSN's decision are their own and there isnt much point in us getting into them. The purpose of this thread is solely to advise ppl we will not help them access MSN with mIRC as it is against MSN policy.
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#20865 - 06/07/03 03:57 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
Strider Offline
Vogon poet

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 155
Loc: Tijuana, México
Excuse me, but I didn't mention the details in order to give ideas to other users. My intention was the same intention as the users who posted before me in this thread.

In fact, I did not go into any details, I just mentioned the security bugs as they are and never said how they were triggered.

In any case, you forgot to delete the "details" (which I already deleted) of the only bug I mentioned how it was triggered, which turns out being the most dangerous one...

I understand that you are a moderator, and that you need to check for any potentially harmful information that the messages might contain, and I'm sorry if mine contained any; but that was never my intention.

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#20866 - 06/07/03 04:13 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
ParaBrat Offline
Planetary brain

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: BratLand
I did not mean to imply you had any harmful intent, far from it. I did note that you were being circumspect and appreciated it smile . Sadly tho, only a hint is enuf to send some ppl off and running, hence my editing.
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#20867 - 04/08/03 01:33 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
pheonix Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 2265
you're wrong, such a thing did happen - in fact so much that sysops started banning/k:lining people even for being suspicious of using mirc, or from "claims" from other users that they were using it.
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#20868 - 04/08/03 01:44 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
NightChillz Offline
Fjord artisan

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 271
Loc: Canada
Personally, i think msn is wasting their time trying to prevent users from joining via mIRC, their biggest problem is Porn spammer, whom i might add do not use mirc for those purposes, the biggest problem with mIRC and msn chat is people "cracking" room passes and taking the room, then the original owner runs to the help desk and cries for help, but i have to say that 99% of the time rooms get taking because of the owners stupidity and reclessness with their password, also, passwords may be changed any time, instead of 128340(which can be cracked fairly easily) to something like, well whatever you want, any character except ":"
many a user use mIRC for good intentions only, same as other "bots", for the simple fact that they are more customizable, user friendly, and makes managing your room much easier, more fun, and what not. I say if they wanna get rid of "harmfull Users" then ban them over and over, but denying access to mIRC or any other chat enhancing program wont solve any of their problems, it only cause more, people whom find a way around and shove it in the sysops/admins/guides faces and act out trying to prove a "pointless" point, mIRC cannot harm msn, sure it allows different and more advances options, but you CANNOT do anything unless you have a hammer, and even then, you can only do something to your own room, and nothing "harmfull" in reality..

I know you guys wont help with msn via mIRC, nor do i ask for it, let alone need it, nor am i implying that you do so, i'm just supplying my input on the issue that "msn" "thinks" they are solving by denying access?(which i might add hasnt worked for more then 24hours yet)

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#20869 - 04/08/03 03:01 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
acemiles_ed Offline
Babel fish

Registered: 11/12/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston, TX
If Microsoft wants to have their network for only users who use their software (sometimes ad-laden software).. then let them be.
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#20870 - 04/08/03 03:49 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
codemastr Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 2809
Quote:
many a user use mIRC for good intentions only

There is an old saying that goes, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Just because you are doing something that you intend to be good, doesn't mean it will actually be good.

If MS wanted to be really mean, Microsoft probably could sue people who use mIRC. In theory, they could stretch the application of the DMCA. The DMCA prohibits any "circumvention devices" (which includes software) that are used to get around a protection method, such as their banning of all non-Microsoft clients. Basically think of the DMCA as the digital equivilent of, just because you know how to pick a lock doesn't mean you are allowed to rob the store, you still broke into the store. It's unlikely that they'd actually do that, and they'd probably have a hard time proving it, but my point is, if you interpret it the way I just did, your "good intention" could be viewed as an "unlawful act". Even if you won in court, how many people here have $50,000 laying around that they are able to give to a lawyer to represent them? Microsoft has lawyers working for them, it wouldn't cost them a dime if they lost, however for you, even to win would cost you thousands of dollars. Again, I'm not saying this is something that will happen, it most likely won't, I'm just offering an opposing view that is equally valid to your "good intention" idea.

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#20871 - 05/08/03 04:52 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
pheonix Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 2265
if you ask me i say if msn did ever get rid of mirc completely it wouldnt be any where near as good, now when you go onto msn you see mirc users with auto-spam lists and without that it would get a lot more spam.
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#20872 - 05/08/03 04:53 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
Poppy Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 843
Loc: UK
Nobody's asking you. :tongue:
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#20873 - 05/08/03 06:45 PM Re: mIRC and MSN
Watchdog Offline
Hoopy frood

Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 2984
Loc: Hill End, NSW, Australia
Well, I will tell you one thing - My network tried a handful of WebChat-Only rooms a while back (like Micro$oft Exchange it's also possible on CR due to the built-in web server). Trouble is, we had a few twits who tried (and occasionally succeeded) in getting past the mode +j due to the fact that IRC is merely a text-based protocol and ten mins reading the manual along with two mins of using one's imagination will allow one to get around the restrictions. You don't even need a mIRC script to do it - it's achievable in any client at any time, and boy these kids looked so l337 too. Trouble is, it WAS NOT terribly fair on the other users. It was also not easy for the evaders to hide the fact that they were really on mIRC. Any experienced oper can tell the difference because the IRCd simply tells them what is going on and I am sure that M$ Exchange does the same thing. Did it ever once occur to you that some people log into IRC to talk to other people. Many IRC users arn't even what one would classify as computer-literate and they don't know or care about scripting, making websites, etc. It is also a fact that in the case of some IRCd's - the in-house WebChat client supports far more than mIRC could ever manage, especially in mIRC's plain form with no scripts or popups. This is not to talk down mIRC of course, just a statement of fact as I see it. At the end of the day, mIRC does a great job as an 'all rounder' which is the reason why it cannot specialise in the manner described above.

I fail to see why a network with hundreds and maybe thousands of users content with using WebChat would be a lesser environment without the handful of script kiddies who think they are God's gift because they are able, through boredom and their own stupidity, to abuse Micro$oft's Acceptable Use Policy by logging in with a third-party client.

A careful analysis of many of your posts leads me to believe that you arn't fond of accepting that those entities that own servers that allow public access may just happen to expect that people will behave themselves whilst such connections are active.
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#20874 - 06/08/03 05:23 AM Re: mIRC and MSN
ParaBrat Offline
Planetary brain

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 3127
Loc: BratLand
Then may i suggest you entertain MSN with your opinion. The purpose of this thread is to inform users we will not help with MSN out of respect for their policy. Just because you dont like it and attempt to circumvent it is a non-issue.
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