MIRC

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See also: Chat Clients | IRC

Home Page: http://www.mirc.co.uk

A graphical client for the commonly text-only IRC available for Microsoft Windows and probably the most widely used IRC Client. CNET's download.com service recorded a total number of ca. 4.5 million downloads in late 2001.

mIRC has the capability to connect to multiple IRC servers simultaneously and was written by Khaled Mardam-Bey.

Graphical User Interface

mIRC is popular for its graphical interface to standard IRC functionality and its flexible scripting language. It was one of the first clients to implement color and sounds, which it has been widely critisized for doing, as the colorcodes looks like incomprehensible garbage in clients not implementing it. Also, colors are not standardized, hence the term "mIRC-colors".

File Server

mIRC also comes with a built-in file server that can be set up in channels of the user's choice to provide a command interface to the user's files.

Other Critisism

As the most popular client, mIRC has been strongly scrutinized. For instance, it has been criticized for making it too easy to inadvertently download viruses or other executable files which, when run, may give an attacker full access to the user's machine. To overcome this problem, mIRC has implemented several protection mechanisms, including default download filters for certain filetypes, confirmation boxes and warning dialogs.

To avoid problems, uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" in the Folder Options of Windows 2000 / Windows XP. Never run files people send you unless they end ONLY in ".JPG", ".GIF", ".TXT", or ".HTML". Most other file types have no business being on your computer. ".jpg.vbs" files or any other that ends in ".vbs" or ".exe" are right out.

Be aware that remote exploitable vulnerabilities are not unknown to mIRC. It is advisable to track wether a newer version is available from time to time, and if there is, see what the improvements are.

Identd

Some servers require Identd servers to be enabled, primarily big ISPs like AOL and SBC or DSL and cable providers. Visit http://kline.dal.net/exploits/winident.htm for information on enabling Identd services with mIRC.

Identd can be blocked by firewalls, even Microsoft's basic Firewall for Windows XP. Disable until connected, then re-enable.