mIRC

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mIRC
Mircnewlogo.png
MIRC Screenshot.png
Screenshot of an unmodified mIRC 7.27 running on Windows 7 on the freenode IRC network
Original author(s) Khaled Mardam-Bey
Developer(s) mIRC Co. Ltd.
Initial release February 28, 1995 (1995-02-28)
Stable release 7.36 (August 14, 2014; 10 days ago (2014-08-14)[1]) [±]
Development status Active
Written in C/C++[2]
Operating system Windows 2000 and later
Platform IA-32
Size 2.17 MB
Type IRC client
License Shareware
Website mirc.com

mIRC is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client for Windows, created in 1995 and developed by Khaled Mardam-Bey. Although it is a fully functional chat utility, its integrated scripting language makes it extensible and versatile.[3]

mIRC has been described as "one of the most popular IRC clients available for Windows."[3] It has been downloaded over 40 million times from CNET's Download.com service.[4] In 2003, Nielsen/NetRatings ranked mIRC among the top ten most popular Internet applications.[5]

History[edit]

Khaled Mardam-Bey states that he decided to create mIRC because he felt the first IRC clients for Windows lacked some basic IRC features. He then continued developing it due to the challenge and the fact that people appreciated his work. The author states that its subsequent popularity allowed him to make a living out of mIRC.[2] mIRC is shareware and requires payment for registration after the 30-day evaluation period.[6]

The developer states that version 5.91 is the final one to support 16-bit Windows;[7] 6.35 is the last to support Windows 95, NT 4.0, 98, and ME. The current version supports Windows 2000 and later.[8]

Main features[edit]

mIRC has a number of distinguishing features. One is its scripting language which is further developed with each version. The scripting language can be used to make minor changes to the program like custom commands (aliases),[3] but can also be used to completely alter the behavior and appearance of mIRC. Another claimed feature is mIRC's file sharing abilities, via the DCC protocol, featuring a built in file server.[9]

Starting with mIRC 7.1, released on July 30, 2010,[10] Unicode and IPv6 are supported.

mIRC scripting[edit]

mIRC's abilities and behaviors can be altered and extended using the embedded mIRC scripting language.[11] mIRC includes its own GUI scripting editor,[3] with help that has been described as "extremely detailed".[3]

mIRC scripting is not limited to IRC related events and commands. There is also support for COM objects, calling DLLs, sockets and dialog boxes, among other things.[citation needed] This allows the client to be used in a variety of ways beyond chatting, for example as an IRC bot, a media player, a web HTML parser or for other entertainment purposes such as mIRC games.[citation needed]

Due to the level of access the language has to a user's computer, for example, being able to rename and delete files, a number of abusive scripts have been made. One example of abuse was that executed with the $decode identifier which decodes a given encoded string.[12][13] The issue was reported in August 2001, and five months later, users were reported as still falling prey, tricked into executing commands on their systems which result in "handing control of [their] mIRC over to somebody else".[14] This led to changes being made in mIRC version 6.17: according to the author, $decode is now disabled by default, and various other features which can be considered dangerous are now lockable.[10]

Military use[edit]

mIRC is part of the communication infrastructure of the US military,[15] which includes controlling unmanned airstrikes from the DGS-4 in Ramstein Air Base.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "mIRC: Latest News". mirc.com. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b "mIRC: Personal FAQ". mirc.com. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Smith, Chris (2004). "Hack #20 Automate IRC with Scripting". In Paul Mutton\. IRC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools. O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 71–74. 
  4. ^ "mIRC". Download.CNet.com. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  5. ^ "InternetNews Traffic Patterns 2003". InternetNews.com. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Registration". mirc.com.
  7. ^ "mIRC 6.0 drops 16bit support". mirc.com.
  8. ^ "mIRC download for 6.35 and latest version". mirc.com. Retrieved 2012-08.
  9. ^ "mIRC FAQ: Section 6". mirc.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  10. ^ a b "mIRC: Latest News". mirc.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  11. ^ Coyle, Diane A. (2012). e-Study Guide for: Computers Are Your Future: Introductory. Content Technologies. p. part 170. ISBN 9780137146932. 
  12. ^ "mIRC Backdoors - An Advanced Overview". originally by ReDeeMeR. Securiteam.com Windows NT Focus. 24 February 2002.
  13. ^ Ahmadi Bidakhwidi, Mohammad (2005) "mIRC Worm". The Ethical Hacker.
  14. ^ Lo, Joseph, ed. (January 4, 2002). "IRC News Jan 04 02 Happy 2002 - //$decode trojan keeps going and going... ". and
    "Aug 30 01 mIRC $decode() exploit." IRChelp.org.
  15. ^ "Tactical Chat: How the U.S. Military Uses IRC to Wage War". Public Intelligence. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Süddeutsche.de GmbH, Munich, Germany (4 April 2014). "US-Drohnenkrieg: "Immer fließen die Daten über Ramstein"" [U.S. drone war: "Always pass the data on Ramstein"]. Sueddeutsche.de. Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "US-Militärflughafen in Deutschland: Flughafen Ramstein ist Zentrum im US-Drohnenkrieg" [U.S. Military Airport in Germany: Ramstein is the center of the U.S. drone war]. Sueddeutsche.de. Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]