Internet Relay Chat (IRC) 30 years: Memories

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is an ancient Internet service that provides the ability to instantly send and receive short messages. The Internet Relay Chat-only chat system was first developed by 1988 by a Finnish IT named Jarkko Oikarinen. His chat nickname was Wiz.

Oikarinen could not know at this time whether his creation would affect the lives of people around the world. Since then, in some cases, IRC has become one of the main communication tools of various groups on the Internet. Internet Relay Chat

In Greece, the IRC (IRC) became known in the mid-90 when the Internet began to develop in our country.

One of the first (if not the first) IRC server owners was GRnet (Greek IRC Network). 1995 was created by 8 people in order to unite all Greeks and continues to exist to this day.

To honor 30's IRC birthday, we'll describe how we discovered this service years ago.

First, we noticed several applications for connecting to IRC. Today, many IRC clients are circulating, but we will mention three main ones:

mIRC: application with Windows GUI
X-Chat: application with GUI for Windows and Linux and
BitchX: application with command line for Linux

Large available and popular servers (networks) at that time were Efnet and links of. The second innovation at the time was that it had SSL connections.
We had to find out from the beginning how you could create your #mychannel channel, how you could lock it and how you could encrypt it with blowfish.
Later we learned to write scripts for linking the IRC channel to an FTP server, or to a Website.
The results were amazing. Each new post from www automatically appeared via a bot on the IRC channel.
But first we had to build the bot, put it on the channel and on the website or FTP server that we were interested in with Eggdrop. IRC bots are written with C uses Tcl as script language.
Then we had to make the bot smarter to be able to answer us with commands like: / msg botname latest

So after our chat experiments in the box provided by the above servers we decided to try our luck by installing our own irc server.
So at a Dutch server (CentOS) that we had from Leaseweb we installed the UnrealIRCd software.
It was our first irc server. Then of course we started adding things for more security, shutting doors and banning IPS at server level. The above was not at all pleasant, as the more people created channels on our server, the more were the cowards trying different.

Please note that IRC is also maliciously used. For example, an IRC channel can be used to control a botnet that performs DDoS attacks, and more.

All of the above, however, seems to have gone unmistakably with chat services like Slack, applications such as Skype and many others that are now in circulation.
The nostalgia for all the above comes along with the awareness that encryption has gone from our hands (at server level at least) and has passed to companies that have services and applications.

Happy Internet Relay Chat!


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