Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Internet Overlords

There's an ongoing discussion on the Full Disclosure mailing list where the original poster stated the following:

Subject: [Full-Disclosure] Why is IRC still around?

Well, it sure does help the anti-virus (anti-malware) and security consulting business, but besides that... is it not safe to say that:

1) A hell of a lot of viruses/worms/trojans use IRC to wreck further havoc?
2) A considerable amount of "script kiddies" originate and grow through IRC?
3) A wee bit of software piracy occurs?
4) That many organized DoS attacks through PC zombies are initiated through IRC?
5) The anonymity of the whole thing helps to foster all the illegal and malicious activity that occurs?
The list goes on and on...

Sorry to offend those that use IRC legitimately (LOL - find something else to chat with your buddies), but why the hell are we not pushing to sunset IRC?

What would IT be like today without IRC (or the like)? Am I narrow minded to say that it would be a much safer place?

The following posts quickly degraded into a flame war and name-calling contest. I find the discussion offensive mostly for the implied logic behind it. (It's included in the name calling contest.) One reader summed my opinion up in a short well-worded sentence: Who is 'we' and what makes you think anyone cares what you 'sunset'?

This is the same mentality as that behind my MSCE rant (and before this gets to far, it was a specific MSCE that I was ranting about, not all of them). There's a certain logic used by some of the n00b MSCE's whose only network training amounts to what they learned out of the MSCE book. Contrary to what MS would like you to believe, the Internet is still a very insecure, dangerous "place" with little or no control. The logic that any "we" can force the suspension of a protocol for any reason gives me a headache. The poster actually assumes that there is a man behind the curtain pulling the levers and ropes.

You can read the list via the Checksum archive.

It's interacting with that type of people that got me blacklisted by my grandmother's church in my early 20's. The short version of the story amounts to a short discussion between a picketer and myself, in front of the only convenience store open at 6:30 a.m. in a three county area. Him: "Don't go in there! They sell Playboys!" Me: "They sell coffee in there."

(Yeah, I grew up in a very small town.)