We have recently decided to temporarily block IRC at HWS on the Residential Network. IRC is a perfectly viable and useful tool as a chat, and file transfer system. Yes there is an amount of pornography, and illegal applicaiton/music exchange as well on this system. However this isn't any different then the IM applications or the other P2P applications. The problem we see is that a very large number of trojans, worms and viruses use IRC as a medium to receive commands from off site. Until we have a better system in place to be sure computers are reasonably well protected with anti-virus software and patches we see this as too great a risk.
An analysis of IRC since its disconnection has shown that all traffic except for FOUR users has been trojan or virus related. This seems to be a great candidate for a webapp in which only the webserver is directly exposed to IRC.
In addition our helpdesk reports that AIM has been a SIGNIFICANT source of virus activity and issues. Likewise the incessant popups are increasing in their contribution to the trojan issue, and forget about the free P2P services. We are investigating IM scanners and HTTP scanners to alleviate virus exposure in these areas. Best solution is protect where you can by a/v software, patch patch patch, and good configurations; then educate as much as possible.
We are finding that people on campus are becoming more conscious of email attachments and the gateway scanners/server scanners/client scanners (from Symantec in our case) provide great coverage on that front. However given that MyDoom is one of the fastest spreading viruses ever, it doesn't seem that good email practices are prevalent everywhere.
Network and Enterprise Systems Engineer
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Division of Information Technology
V 315-781-3711 F 315-781-3409
Employees and Students can purchase Technology online
with an HWS Discount at
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv on behalf of Fred Miller
Sent: Thu 2/5/2004 12:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CIO] IRC Chat
Terry Calhoun wrote:
> Sharing my perspective here as a member of that "far larger group":
> I find AIM Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger to be exceedingly useful
> work tools. In the two tools together, right this moment, I have nearly
> 100 active "buddies" (and as more currently not active) and during the
> day today I will probably send and receive 100+ messages...
Here's a rebuttal
Take a minute to explore this site. Very useful.
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