The big lie of computer security is that security improves by imposing complex passwords on users. In real life, people write down anything they can't remember. Security is increased by designing for the way humans actually behave. -Jakob Nielsen
To register on the hackthissite irc server, enter the following commands:
/msg nickserv register <password> <email>
!link <hackthissite username>
Then, go to the link page and confirm the linking.
Every time you login, either enter the following commands, or review your irc client's documentation to learn how to make it automatically send them for you.
/msg nickserv identify <password>
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) provides a way of communicating in real
time with people from all over the world. It consists of various
separate networks (or
"nets") of IRC servers, machines that allow users to
connect to IRC. The largest nets are EFnet (the original IRC net, often
having more than 32,000 people at once), Undernet, IRCnet, DALnet, and NewNet.
Generally, the user (such as you) runs a program (called a
"client") to connect to a server on one of the IRC nets. The server relays
information to and from other servers on the same net. Recommended
Be sure to read the documentation for your client!
Once connected to an IRC server on an IRC network, you will usually
join one or more "channels" and converse with others there.
On EFnet, there often are more
than 12,000 channels, each devoted
to a different topic. Conversations may be public (where everyone in
a channel can see what you type) or private (messages between only
two people, who may or may not be on the same channel). IRC is not a
"game", and I highly recommend you treat people you meet on
IRC with the same courtesy as if you were talking in person or on
the phone, or there may be serious consequences.
Channel names usually begin with a #, as in #irchelp . The same
channels are shared among all IRC servers on the same net, so you do
not have to be on the same IRC server as your friends. (There are
also channels with names beginning with a & instead of a #. These
channels are not shared by all servers on the net but exist locally
on that server only.)
Each user is known on IRC by a "nick", such as
smartgal or FunGuy. To avoid conflicts with other
users, it is best to use a nick that is not too common, e.g.,
"john" is a poor choice. On some nets, nicks do not belong
to anyone, nor do channels. This can lead to conflict, so, if you
feel strongly about ownership of such things, you may prefer
networks with "services" like Undernet, DALnet, or other smaller networks.
Channels are run by channel operators, or just "ops" for
short, who can control the channel by choosing who may join (by
"banning" some users), who must leave (by
"kicking" them out), and even who may speak (by making the
channel "moderated")! Channel ops have complete control
over their channel, and their decisions are final. If you are banned
from a channel, send a /msg to a channel op and ask nicely to be let
in (see the /who command in the next section to learn how to find
ops). If they ignore you or /who gives no response because the
channel is in secret mode (+s), just go somewhere else where you are
IRC servers are run by IRC admins and
by IRC operators, or
"IRC ops". IRC ops manage the servers themselves and, on
EFnet and many other networks, do not get involved in personal
disputes, channel takeovers, restoring lost ops, etc. They are
not "IRC cops."
Commands and text are typed in the same place. By default, commands
begin with the character / . If you have a graphical client such as
mIRC for Windows, many commands can be
executed by clicking on icons with the mouse pointer. It is,
however, highly recommended that you learn to type in the basic IRC
commands first. When entering commands, pay close attention to
spacing and capitalization. The basic commands work on all the good
Some examples are given below. In these, suppose your nick is
"yournick", and that you are on the channel #coolness.
Your friend "MaryN" is in #coolness with you, and your
friend "Tomm" is on IRC but is not on a channel with you.
You can apply these examples in general by substituting the relevant
nick or channel names.
What you type
You join the channel #coolness.
Gives some info on users in the channel.
@ = channel op, while * means IRC op.
Everyone on #coolness sees <yournick> hello everyone. (You need not type in your own nick.)
/me is a pink bunny
Everyone in #coolness sees * yournick is a pink bunny
You leave the channel.
You get some info about Tomm or whatever nickname you entered.
This is some info others see about you.
Changes your nick to "newnick"
/msg Tomm hi there.
Only Tomm sees your message (you don't need to be on the same channel for this to work).
Gives information on the delay (round-trip) between you and everybody on #coolness.
Gives information on the delay (round-trip) between you and just Tomm.
/dcc chat MaryN
This sends MaryN a request for a dcc chat session. MaryN types /dcc chat yournick to complete the connection.
DCC chat is faster (lag free) and more secure than /msg.
/msg =MaryN Hi there!
Once a DCC connection has been established, use the /msg =nick message format to exchange messages (note the = sign). DCC does not go through servers, so it are unaffected by server lag, net splits, etc.
This works in many clients. Try it!
/quit good night!
You quit IRC completely, with the parting comment so that others see "*** Signoff: yournick (good night!)".
When you are not in a named channel, lines not beginning with a /
have no effect, and many commands work differently or fail to work
You can learn a lot by joining a channel and just listening and
talking for a while. For starters, try these channels: #new2irc,
#newuser, #newbies, or #chatback. Busier alternatives include:
#chat, and #ircbar.
For help with the mIRC client, try
joining #new2mirc or #mirchelp. For
help with general IRC questions, join #irchelp.
To form your own channel with the name #mychannel (if #mychannel
does not already exist), type /join #mychannel. The channel
is created and you are automatically made an op.
:-) is a smiley face, tilt your head to the left to see it.
Likewise, :-( is a frown.
;-) is a wink.
:~~( is crying, while
:-P is someone sticking their tongue out. :-P ~~ is drooling.
(-: a lefty's smile, etc.
There are hundreds of these faces.
Here are some common acronyms used in IRC:
brb = be right back bbiaf = be back in a flash
bbl = be back later ttfn = ta ta for now
np = no problem imho = in my humble opinion
lol = laughing out loud j/k = just kidding
re = hi again, as in 're hi' wb = welcome back
wtf = what the f--k rtfm = read the f--king manual
rofl = rolling on the floor laughing
Typing in all caps, LIKE THIS, is considered "shouting"
and should be avoided. Likewise, do not repeat yourself or
otherwise "flood" the channel with many lines of text
at once. Be sure to use correct terminology, e.g.,
"channel", not "chat room", and
"nick", not "handle".
While in a channel, follow the lead of the channel ops there. If you
antagonize them, you may be "kicked" off the channel
forcibly and possibly "banned" from returning. On the
other hand, some channel ops are power-hungry and may kick or
ban for no good reason. If this happens, or if someone on a
channel is bothering you, simply leave the channel -- there are
thousands of others.
If someone starts harassing or flooding you, leave the channel
or use the /ignore command. For more details, mIRC users see our flood protection page, ircII users type /help
ignore. It is a good idea to set your user mode to +i
(invisible) to avoid unsolicited messages and harrassment -- if
you are "invisible" generally only users on a channel
with you can determine what nick you are using.
At this point, you are ready to "chat" on IRC. For the most part, the commands above should suffice for beginners, but things can go wrong in IRC.
Networks can become divided
(called a "net split"), thus separating you from users
you had been speaking with. These splits are often relatively
short, though common some days.
A more frequent problem is "lag", where there is a
noticeable delay between the time you type something in and
someone else reads it. Choosing a server
near you is one way to try to lessen lag. Lag can be measured by
using the /ping command (see the commands section above). Once
you find a better server, the command for changing servers is
On most clients, typing /links gives
a list of servers on your current net. Use this command
sparingly, no more than a couple times in a row, or you may
mistaken for a "link looking" troublemaker.
mIRC users: Ping? Pong! in
the status window just means your server pinged you to make sure
you were still connected, and your client
automatically replied with a pong. Don't worry about these.
Reminder about DCC chat
The /dcc chat command can be used to establish a one-on-one
connection that avoids lag and will not be broken by a net
split! Check your docs for usage info. In most clients, you can
set up a DCC chat connection by both typing /dcc chat nick_of_other_person. To talk
through that connection, type /msg =nick
whatever (note the = sign). In mIRC, you can also start a DCC chat
session by selecting DCC and then Chat from the
menu and then entering the nick of the user with whom you wish
to chat. A window opens for that dcc chat session.
Looking for other clients? The most comprehensive source of clients
is at the Undernet
FTP archive or Undernet
WWW archive. The clients are organized into groups like Windows, Macintosh, DOS, Amiga, Java, etc.
The mIRC client also has excellent
built-in help files written by Tjerk Vonck (email@example.com). Select
Ircintro.hlp from the Help menu.
IRC scripts are sets of commands that your client will
run. Many otherwise good scripts have been hacked so that if you
load them, you can seriously compromise your security (someone can
get into your account, delete all of your files, read your mail,
etc.). There are also evildoers who try to send people viruses and
other bad things. Just like in real life, don't accept anything from
a stranger. There have been many incidents of this type, not just a
few. Do not ever run a script unless you know what each line
does, not even if it is given to you by a friend, as your friend may
not have the expertise to detect well-hidden "trojans".
Automatic DCC get is a very bad idea! Once it is on, you are
susceptible to dangers ranging from disconnection from your server
to giving someone else control of your computer. Quite a few people
have run into serious problems because of the DCC autoget setting.