My objections to the growing trend on the Undernet.

Here is where you can post your comments about the network, give ideas for changes and what live-events you would like to see.
Dogbert
Posts: 2

My objections to the growing trend on the Undernet.

Post by Dogbert »

Over the past few months, I have noticed several changes in the Undernet ircu that have begun to disturb me.

First was the removal from the /whois return of what server a user was currently on. This was always useful as a quicker test for ping (why wait for the 5 minute reply when you know server Y is lagged to hell), and was a way for small groups of people to consolidate on one server without bothering everyone about it. I have not been able to think of a positive reason for this change. It may do something for the operators, but I will look at all changes to the servers from the viewpoint of a user.

Next was the introduction of user mode x, which we all know hides a person's host from a general irc user. This was always extremely useful to see where people were from. I don't do much banning, but I feel like this would double the number of bans you would need to set on a person (one for their real host, one for their users.undernet host). Furthermore, by re-registering on X with different information, this gives a user another host. I feel this has added a level of anonymity which could increase abuse. I do realize that the obvious reason for hiding a users host is to prevent non-irc based DoS attacks against these people, but if you're going to have an insecure box, you have an insecure box. These people could surely be tricked by a dcc send or chat request to have their ip made public. The IRC network should not be responsible for protecting the users against the threats of the Internet, especially when it lowers the usability of the network.

Lastly, something I have seen just this morning, is anonymous kick messages. *** spoon18 was kicked by Amsterdam.NL.EU.undernet.org. When this occured I immediately pointed it out on the channel. Some users said that they had also seen something similar, and some users still saw the true kicker. X has always placed the name of the kicker in the kick message to prevent anonymous kicks. I believe the servers should stick to this line of thinking.

IRC has never been an anonymous medium. While many users may believe this, once one gets to learn the network and the commands of the irc servers, it is clear that IRC is explicitly non-anonymous (except to those users that can spoof hosts, run through expoited boxes, etc.). The current trend of anonymizing IRC is truly disturbing and I believe may have very bad consequences on the network as a whole.

User avatar
craze
Posts: 8

Post by craze »

As you mentioned, both servers and hosts are hidden to prevent out-of-irc attacks. While I agree undernet shouldn't take responsibility for each users safety on the internet, they should try to prevent attacks originating from this network. Even a perfectly secure box may experience trouble if the bandwith is limited (i.e.: dialup).

From what I know, server kicks appear after a netsplit, if the user joined the channel on one side while banned on the other.

:wink: /me out
Read error: EOF from signature

A-KO
Posts: 3

Post by A-KO »

Dogbert wrote:Over the past few months, I have noticed several changes in the Undernet ircu that have begun to disturb me.

First was the removal from the /whois return of what server a user was currently on. This was always useful as a quicker test for ping (why wait for the 5 minute reply when you know server Y is lagged to hell), and was a way for small groups of people to consolidate on one server without bothering everyone about it. I have not been able to think of a positive reason for this change. It may do something for the operators, but I will look at all changes to the servers from the viewpoint of a user.

Next was the introduction of user mode x, which we all know hides a person's host from a general irc user. This was always extremely useful to see where people were from. I don't do much banning, but I feel like this would double the number of bans you would need to set on a person (one for their real host, one for their users.undernet host). Furthermore, by re-registering on X with different information, this gives a user another host. I feel this has added a level of anonymity which could increase abuse. I do realize that the obvious reason for hiding a users host is to prevent non-irc based DoS attacks against these people, but if you're going to have an insecure box, you have an insecure box. These people could surely be tricked by a dcc send or chat request to have their ip made public. The IRC network should not be responsible for protecting the users against the threats of the Internet, especially when it lowers the usability of the network.

Lastly, something I have seen just this morning, is anonymous kick messages. *** spoon18 was kicked by Amsterdam.NL.EU.undernet.org. When this occured I immediately pointed it out on the channel. Some users said that they had also seen something similar, and some users still saw the true kicker. X has always placed the name of the kicker in the kick message to prevent anonymous kicks. I believe the servers should stick to this line of thinking.

IRC has never been an anonymous medium. While many users may believe this, once one gets to learn the network and the commands of the irc servers, it is clear that IRC is explicitly non-anonymous (except to those users that can spoof hosts, run through expoited boxes, etc.). The current trend of anonymizing IRC is truly disturbing and I believe may have very bad consequences on the network as a whole.


While IRC has never been an anonymous medium, there is a growing problem with 'script kiddies' on Undernet over the past few years. I myself, was a victim of such an attack. It would've been so much better if I had +x on that day.

The issue is where should the 'line' be drawn. Should users take methods of prevention themselves? Or should the server? You have to weigh it out. Looking at it from a more 'global' standpoint, +x is a good mode to have...on a majority of the times, not everybody, even 'irc veterans' know how to use shell accounts or can even obtain them. I will be honest that I've been on Undernet for the past 6 years or so and I will admit I had no clue how people 'spoofed their hosts' until about 2 years ago. So in that sense, it's good to provide users with some level of protection whom otherwise could not obtain it. If you look at it from a 'war' standpoint......it's entirely unfair that a user whom more than likely otherwise does not deserve his internet to be bombarded for a week(yes, this too, has happened to me) to be done so by someone who knows a bit more about IRC than that user does, or even a 'bit more' than he does about how to connect through other machines(whether it be through insecure proxies, hacked servers, or legally obtained shell accounts).

In that sense, it's good to provide a decent level of protection to that user.

In another sense, Undernet's implementation of +x is a bit 'better' per say than other networks' use of the mode. For one, it allows 'permanent' and 'restricted' banning on a user, and no amount of shell accounts could get by the ban. But only if the channel was +r. Other networks implement +x in a way of a hash of the user's IP, similar to Nick!user@FFE3028D.network.net

However, forcing +r on a channel does come at a disadvantage to the users. But it's not anymore of a disadvantage than Dalnet's implementation of +R. Just that your channel would not be 'open' to the general public without you first telling them to register before joining.

For more reasons than one, unfortunately, such advantages of the masked kick, masked servers, and masked IP's provide a generally more acceptable IRC network for the thousands of others, which can significantly help to protect against DOS attacks to the user, the server, and takeovers of their channels.


Sure, again, we can take the approach of a free-form method such as that implemented by efnet, which isn't exactly as free-form as it used to be. Considering their implementation to help operators fix channel takeovers about a year or so ago.

But such 'free form' methods are never foolproof. I imagine kirenet's couple of vhost servers get taken down far more than Undernet's whole network.



Again, with little 'change' to the average chatting experience, the network has implemented substantial 'fixes' for a more enjoyable and more 'safe' irc experience. And this is the justification for such fixes.

A-KO
Posts: 3

Post by A-KO »

However, what I would like to see most is the ability to set +x automatically after you login.

P4rD0nM3

Post by P4rD0nM3 »

on 1:CONNECT:{ .mode $me +x }

That would do in mIRC, put it in your remote's section.
Or simply just pu it in the Perform sections, Alt-O and then Perform.
Did I help you? I hope so.

User avatar
JeepC77
Posts: 73
Location: Italy

Post by JeepC77 »

/me smiles @ P4rD0nM3

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eviltwin
Posts: 14
Location: Australia

Post by eviltwin »

Being on one of the networks that Undernet have seen fit to add block bans to due to one or 2 people being abusers - and having an ISP that wont act unless actual abuse it reported and undernet of course refusing to report anything as its all the ISP's fault and of course no one can see what networks are actually banned as thats secret

You think some of your issues are bad - try not having done anything wrong and no longer being able to connect !

SAnDAnGE

Post by SAnDAnGE »

Dogbert, did you ever had a fight with a .ro people before ?!
Because almost all of them have access to DoS attacks, and one gets upset you may have the surprise to /quit in less than 5 minutes with ping timeout and your ISP crashes.
In the last weeks I've seen how the bucharest server quiting in netsplit, and the entire ISP the server is on crashed for hours (And I think it's the biggest ISP from Romania). So the protection is neccessary, not only for servers but for users too.

User avatar
JeepC77
Posts: 73
Location: Italy

Post by JeepC77 »

:o :o :o :o
Erm... uhm...
Will I ever get the time to see people talking GOOD things too about the .RO netizens?
:cry:
I guess that WE , the .RO users should be the first ones to start changing things around here, starting with OUR attitude!!
So, we should all take a look at this URL and TRY to understand the things said in there: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1855.txt
Have a nice read...
:cry:

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Irku
Posts: 206
Location: bucharest

Post by Irku »

Dogbert: those changes were needed. Maybe you aren't involved in the (new, very popular among hax0rz) trend of knocking down virtually anything (even irc servers) in your way to achieve your goal of having fun. These dudes gather armies of thousands of infected machines and use them to flood.
As for me.. any change is good. I'm sick of this old web interface, this old forum, the same never-changing ppl.