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Notice regarding BNC services

Posted by Katlyn on 2008-05-27 15:33:05 UTC

Hi,

The following news post has two sections - The first section is intended to be read by users of free BNC providers on the network. The second is intended to be read by those BNC providers on the network.

A message to users of free BNC services on SwiftIRC:

The SwiftIRC administration has noticed a sudden increase in the number of stolen nicknames and channels as a result of the rising interest in BNCs (Bouncers are used to relay IRC traffic through a remote location providing a certain degree of anonymity for the user).

As a result we would like to inform our users of the risks of using these BNCs (especially BNCs provided by free BNC providers on our network) and how they can minimise any risk to themselves and their channels.

The problems

The main problem with BNC services provided on the network is that the 'administrators' of these services (who generally have no affiliation with official network staff) have complete access to your BNC account, and can therefore (directly and indirectly) access your nickserv account and channels on the network. As the BNC will keep you connected to the network (and therefore identified) the administrator can either connect to your BNC and take control of your nickname, or can issue commands (for example with ShroudBNC's 'simul' feature) on your behalf. These commands could be used to change your nickserv password and email (thus commandeering your nickname and channels) or to inflict damage on your nicknames and channels (ie. deleting them).

With certain BNC software the administrators can also log all IRC traffic in and out of your BNC (SSL will not prevent them from doing this) - this could allow them to read messages in private channels or your private messages, or, more sinisterly, log your use of the nickserv identify command to steal your password.
Solutions

The easiest solution to protect yourself is to simply not use a BNC service in the first place. Unless you are blocked from accessing the network by a restrictive firewall then there is little need for a BNC. If you need a BNC for people to be able to contact you while you are offline then an easy substitute is for people to use MemoServ to send you an offline message (/ms send nickname Message to send).

If you still believe you need to use a BNC (maybe to log recent channel activity if you're that obsessive) then our best advice is to avoid BNC providers on this network altogether. Although there may be one or two providers that are considered 'legit' on the network (including one run by a member of the network staff) the only way to ensure you are safe is to purchase your own BNC from a reputable hosting provider. The price usually varies from $2-$5 depending on what you require and will give you complete control over your BNC, and may often allow you to run other programs such as an eggdrop bot, or even give you some webspace to host your own website. (A decent search form for BNC/shell providers can be found at http://www.shellsearch.com/.)

If you continue to use a BNC provided by a user on the network then be aware that you are very vulnerable to potential negative effects brought about as a result of using it (for example stolen passwords or channels)

A message to BNC providers on the network:

The SwiftIRC administration has also noticed a distinct increase in the use of BNCs for abusive purposes. Ban evasion by users is the main form of abuse as a result of those using your services. In an attempt to reduce this abuse we have established the following guidelines that we highly advise you to follow to ensure your service is allowed to continue the provision of BNCs on the network. Although it is not necesarry for you to follow them you should note that we will not hesitate in ensuring the security of our users on the network.

BNC Provider Guidelines

- Disable automatic signup systems. BNC staff should be able to review any BNC requests and accept/decline them accordingly. Users should not be able to instantly obtain a BNC without any form of verification.

- Enforce unique idents on users. This will prevent a user from switching vhosts to evade bans or glines, and will prevent both channels and network staff from placing broad bans/glines on idents shared by all of your users.

- Disable abusive commands (such as /simul). Your staff members should not have access to these unnecessary commands which easily lead to abuse.

If you do not follow the above guidelines and problems arise due to a user of your service being able to use it for abuse then do not be surprised if you find your service blocked from the network.

By providing a BNC service on the network you fully accept the responsibilities that come with running it.

Support Team Applications

Posted by Awong on 2008-05-16 14:35:02 UTC

Hi,

For the first time in over two years, applications will open for acceptance into the support team. These applications will be subject to a first round of reviews by myself, whereupon select support personnel shall review the final candidates and provide feedback. This feedback will then shape the final selection of the new Help Operators.

Applications are relatively comprehensive, and I advise only those who wish help make the SwiftIRC support system work to submit an application. There is no word limit, but I recommend that any responses be comprehensive enough so as to answer the question, yet concise so as to remain relevant.

The procedure for submitting an application can be found in a link to the left, 'Support application'. Alternatively, the url is: http://www.swiftirc.net/index.php?page=helpapp

Kind Regards,
Awong

Last edited by Awong on 2008-05-16 14:46:46 UTC

Tripwire.uk.eu.SwiftIRC.net fully linked

Posted by fx on 2008-05-02 10:08:31 UTC

The SwiftIRC Administration would like to extend its warmest welcome to its newest Server Administrator, IEP.

Following a successful majority vote, the server Tripwire.uk.eu.SwiftIRC.net was granted a permanent link on the network.

Once again, welcome to the SwiftIRC Network IEP. Both your server and you will be a fine addition to the network.

tripwire.uk.eu.swiftirc.net

Posted by Katlyn on 2008-04-04 20:30:46 UTC

tripwire.uk.eu.swiftirc.net has been granted a 30 day trial link after passings its initial link vote. Tripwire is located in the UK and should prove to be a welcome addition to the network.

Best of luck to IEP, tripwire's admin, during the trial link!

avalon.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net

Posted by fx on 2008-04-04 16:44:14 UTC

The server avalon.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net has been granted a 30 day test link. This server is located in California, USA, and should prove a welcome addition to the SwiftIRC Network.

Best of luck to avalon admin, Timmy, during the test link period!

cookies.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net fully linked

Posted by Awong on 2008-03-25 10:56:20 UTC

The SwiftIRC Administration would like to extend its warmest welcome to its newest Server Administrator, cursive.

Following a successful majority vote, the server cookies.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net was granted a permanent link on the network.

Once again, welcome to the SwiftIRC Network cursive. Both your server and you will be a fine addition to the network.

Test Link: cookies.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net

Posted by fx on 2008-02-17 07:20:42 UTC

The server cookies.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net has been granted a 30 day test link. This server is located in California, USA, and should prove a welcome addition to the SwiftIRC Network.

Best of luck to cookies admin, bubblemonster, during the test link period!

darklite.be.eu.SwiftIRC.net perm linked

Posted by Awong on 2007-09-09 08:08:39 UTC

The SwiftIRC Administration extends its congratulations to darklite.be.eu.SwiftIRC.net and its admin fx on its successful perm link to the SwiftIRC Network.

I am sure he will make a welcome addition to the ranks of SwiftIRC Staff.

hades.de.eu.SwiftIRC.net perm linked

Posted by Awong on 2007-08-26 13:33:08 UTC

hades.de.eu.SwiftIRC.net has completed its 30 day trial and passed a vote by the SwiftIRC Administration for a permanent link.

We extend our congratulations and warmly welcome Hades' admin Chrono as a new Server Administrator.

New Server : amarok.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net

Posted by Woodruff on 2007-08-11 09:48:56 UTC

Welcome the new SwiftIRC server addition : amarok.ca.us.SwiftIRC.net

The server will provide connection solutions to our west coast users and will help reduce the load on the rest of the US servers.

Thanks to Allen for providing this server .

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