Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Privacy in the irc world

Hi! Right then. 
Note: This piece is assuming users (you) have at minimal basic irc knowledge.
Go and check out the Introduction for the previous entry on irc commands.

So you've registered a nickname and cruised around a few channels right?
Now we'll talk privacy.

What users can find out about you, and how to stop them.

First off, if you've just joined irc, the chances are that your ip address is showing and quite possibly ( I see it a bit ) your real name and/or email address can be easily found. From this, malice users can commence port scans, ping your address to hell with broken 'ack' requests and the like, find out your facebook details, and heaps more details to scare the heck out of you. Just remember that when opera prompts you for your 'real name' and 'email' this information is clearly visible to all other users (excluding the domain name of your email address).

The commands that users can use and their meanings.

First we'll start simple.
The /who <nick> command

typing /who stagnate 
Would give you the default information on a nickname.
The outcome of this command will look like this:

#ruby bill CPE-124-177-167-92 stagnate Hr 0 bob lehcror

#ruby being the channel the user last joined 'bill' being the users 'email address' -

*Note: Users will know that most persons will be using @hotmail, @yandex or any other popular mail servers - so it's not too hard to fill in the gap.

 - that opera asked for. CPE-124-177-167-92 being the users connection (ip address) and 'bob lehcror' being the users 'real name'

More information can be acquired by the /whois command which can be shortened to /w

Not to be missed is the /whowas command, this gives some info on a few of the last connections a nick has made.

Access list

NickServ stuff
There are a few different servers on the network (NicServ, ChanServ, HelpServ, BotServ and MemoServ)

Using NickServ to find info
/msg NickServ info <nick>
This command will bring back info such as; last seen on the network, time and date registered and any options that the nick has configured.

/msg NickServ status <nick>
This give info on the status of the nickname you input. NickServ will give back the status 0 1 2 or 3
0 is off-line
1 I don't know
2 registered but only with the access mask
3 on-line and registered

Client to client protocol
Using the command of /ctcp users can discover what o.s. and irc software you're using, and some other stuff

typing the command /ctcp <nick> version
will give back something like this:

VERSION Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686; U; en) Presto/2.7.62 Version/11.01

So a user can find out what operating system, platform and irc client you're using.
This info is fine to share mostly, some irc clients block client to client protocol by default, or have witty replies built in.

The <ping> command and <time> can also be used in /ctcp through the opera irc client.
These will be entered in the same format eg: /ctcp <nickname> time

Note: ctcp queries will bring up results in a new window when using the opera built in irc client. These queries cannot be seen by a general opera user.


Direct client connection
This allows the sharing of files between users.
In opera this will always prompt you to accept or decline. If you're not sure don't accept!
It's something like: /DCC send <nick> <file>
Just right click the users name you want to send something to in the user list, it's heaps easier.
Note: Some routers will block some ports that DCC use by default and can cause headaches ~. 

Okay, so in summary we can see that other users can see: 


Your I.P. address
Your real name (If entered)
Part of your email address (If entered)
Any security protocols you may be using (ssh, ect)
Your operating system
Your irc client


That's quite a bit of info other users can gain from a few simple commands right??
But relax! There are just not that many irc users out there that can really 'DO' stuff with that info, harmful stuff I mean. Sure. the average user might find your facebook, iptrace you to your suburb if they're lucky. But that's not going to harm you.
So how to block/prevent your personal info being available to everyone?

Masking and preventing access to your information 

Right so you should know by now who to prevent your real name and email address from being shown right? .... Just don't enter them! Problem solved!

To mask your I.P. address the command is:

/mode <your_nick_here> +x

Stopping incoming (and outgoing ctcp requests)
This is where users can find you operating system information and even flood you and force your irc client to disconnect!

/mode <your_nick_here> +T

To stop users sending private messages:
Note: This command doesn't 'stop' the user from sending the messages, it just stops you from reciving them :).

/silence + <nickname>

Right then, you can now block those curious requests and possible you may be more well equipped in the irc world :).
The NickServ queries can't be blocked, but they really don't matter unless you have a stalker!
If you've even read this far try the command: /msg NickServ access list.
You can even add and delete addresses from your access list! Eg:
/msg NickServ access add *lehcror@ 

*next week: I don't know, maybe a solid banning reference, I haven't seen one of those around for opera...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Intermediate guide to commands

Welcome to the opera irc!
If you haven't got your opera browser please go HERE and get it!

So this first section I'll write about some simple commands for the advanced user - the one who wants to go further than registering their nickname and registering channels.
All basic info you need for that is located Here (Opera's irc blog)

There are many irc clients out there and a lot of them are really good. I use opera simply because the web browser has proved more secure and stable than the other main web browsers. Well I don't think I'll have time to write any cool irc commands in today, will add to this soon though.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The real walk

Yeah it took a while, had a lot to do..
The walk I ended up doing has restricted access, it's restricted due to some government towers ( no idea what they do) at the peak. And they deem it to be a security risk or a bloody terrorist threat if someone wanted to go up there and blow them up. But really, no one is going to be bothered carrying explosives or the tools to bring down a coupla towers. And anyway if they could be bothered they'll do it regardless of the crazy warning signs all over the place. 

But I say, F 'em. They want to block access in a national park?? I've read the act and the only legal way there can be restricted access is due to damaging the local ecosystem.

Right then, I'll start with: No Swedish backpackers' on this trip!
What a pity.
It was a nice walk started out with a lot of switch-backs which get damn tiresome really quick. I didn't even make it to the peak.

I didn't see one other person on this walk, must be due to the signs at the start. I should mention that yes there is a large fence at the start of the walk, and there is a (one) guard person at the location too. I checked him out  a week before asking about the track and just had a polite chat.
He started off denying that there was ever a walking track there!
Until I convinced him I knew my walking tracks around the area and told him where the track went to. He admitted the existence of the track but has been closed since a cyclone has been through.
I didn't push him too much as to why they blocked off this one section due to dangerous conditions (That's the official version) which is illegal. All nation parks are deemed dangerous that's why there is no clause to restriction access to a park for that very reason.

Anyway the walk was bloody rough! It hadn't been trod for ages... I was happy to have taken my machete because the vines and crap were covering the track like crazy.
 So I get a fair way up and there is a cool view of the waterfall through some trees, that's my destination I though. But alas I had been walking for almost two hours and it was really tough going. I turned back, defeated, I have to go back. Also saw signs of wild pigs too, do NOT want to encounter those while walking solo.

I'll get back to that walk another day...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Back to hiking/ sorta

SO this is new, I haven't been on the walk yet but am going tomorrow.... Am doing a pre-emptive hike story.

Right so I'll drive on over to the start of the walk(haven't decided which it'll be yet) And get out have a little stretch and find the start.
It's not going to be a long one.
So there's heaps of friggan mud around and it just started raining, has that ever stopped me? Ha!
Right, I've fallen over right on top of a muddy bit. Shit. Can't stop now...
I walk past two swedish backpacker girls (This actually does happen quite a lot) and they start giggling at my muddy side. Then I stop them, ask them if they had seen the film 'Wolf Creek'> the first one says nope, but ! The second one must have and starts looking worried, said something in her lan. To her friend and they both bolt off through the rain forest.

I walk on, elated, reach the pinnacle of my walk and stop to take in my surroundings. By now the mud has cracked and if falling off, I'm dry and successfully scared  some holidaymakers.

So that would be good, I'll have to write back after really doing the walk...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facebook new data centre

Facebook will be putting ARM based servers in their upcoming Oregon data centre.

What does this mean for the general Facebook user? Nothing at this point, rather Intel will be watching carefully and holding their breath.

If Facebook's plans go well, we may see a dramatic drop in prices.