How to deal with takeovers

Introduction

This document attempts to explain to how to cope in a sane way with IRC (Internet Relay Chat) takeovers. If you don’t know what this is all about, don’t bother to continue reading this – it’s not worth your attention (just believe me).

In order to get the most out of this document, you need to understand a few basic things:

Takeovers are of course lame. They disrupt you for at least a short time from chatting and they can be very disappointing for newbies, who are not yet familiar with them. Yet, they happen every day. In most cases, someone who overtakes a channel does this for his ego. That’s the old penis-extension issue: By overtaking a channel, you think your ego (as well as your penis) grows and you become superior to the regular channel members because now you “own” their channel and they couldn’t hinder you from taking it. Naturally, this is a fallacy: IRC (as its name implies) is about chatting not about ownership. The people on IRC are there for chatting and they can do it on an infinite number of channels. And by overtaking one of those channels, you just gain the temporary control of this single channel. And controlling a channel on which you are on your own is one of the most boring things you can imagine for a takeover guy (see below for details). That’s why in most of the cases they act and appear in a group so they can at least kick and ban themselves on the new gained channel. =) So what have we learned from this little excursion? Exactly: Takeover guys have really small dicks. ;-)


Channel design

The following is a description of how i think you should “design” your channel to make it less attractive for takeovers:

  • Don’t use bots.
  • Don’t use auto-ops.
  • Don’t activate {nethack,mass-op,mass-deop}-protections in your script.
  • Do only op upon request.

Adapting those measures shows that you don’t care much about chanop-status (and that you are in the first place only interested in chatting) and they represent very little resistance on takeover attempts. Yes, you read that correctly: Very little resistance. The less resistance someone will face when trying to takeover “your” channel, the less interesting it will be for him. The reason for this being obvious: In order to overtake a channel with huge resistance (ie. tons of bots and scripts with protections), you need of course a huge penis. So if you succeed to take such a channel, you prove yourself that your penis is really huge. But: Taking over a channel with very little resistance does at best prove that your penis is very small. Therefore, (you get the picture) why bothering taking over such a channel?


When someone attempts to takeover your channel

What should you do when there’s an attempt to takeover “your” channel? Well, that depends on how the takeover attempt is being done. If there are only one or two users who try to take it by deopping all the regular ops, then just make them lose their chanop-status. But if you see that the takeover is being done more “professionally” by a more or less large group of users, then you should just watch the show and log everything. Trying to defeat such an attempt can be possible but it will just have the effect that the same group will try even harder next time to take “your” channel.


What kind of information you should log

When “your” channel is being taken over, you should try to log beside the usual log information (joins, signoffs, ops, server-ops) the WHOIS information of the users who try to takeover “your” channel. If an abuser is using a server which is hostmasked (ie. when the WHOIS for him has *.TLD in the server line, then you have to type /WHOIS Nickname Nickname in order to get the real server he is using. You need all that when you want to report the abuse to the concerned server admin and/or ISP. The contact address for a server admin can be obtained by typing /ADMIN.


When your channel has been taken over

Once you and all the other regular ops on your former channel have lost their chanop-status and the takeover users have gained it, here is what you should do:

  • Relax. Life goes on.
  • Get and save the WHOIS information of the takeover users, if you haven’t done so yet.
  • Create/join #channel2 and invite the regular users from #channel to the new#channel2 so you can continue to chat in peace there.

If the channel which has been taken over stays open (ie. that everyone can join it), then stay on it so you can tell other “regular” users to go to #channel2 too.

Mail the log of the takeover to the concerned server admin(s).

It’s common use to join #channel2 if #channel has been taken over. Which means that if, for example, #blah got taken over, you just join #blah2 and continue to chat there. Should #channel2 not be free, then try #channel3 or another variation.

To make sure that new users find the new channel if the usual channel has been taken over, you could place a user with the nick of the usual channel on the new one so that new users would just have to look at his WHOIS information to see what the name of the new channel is.

Example: #blah has been taken over. So you create #blah2 and place a user with the nick blah on it. And now, if someone comes on IRC and sees that #blah is not usable, he just does /WHOIS blah and sees that blah is on #blah2. Therefore he knows now that #blah2 is the temporary replacement for #blah.


What you should remember

No one can hinder you from chatting if you really want to. The less resistance on takeovers, the less trouble.



Original text by: KasiOriginal URL: http://home.snafu.de/kl/takeovers.htmlMaintained by: IRCNet.net TeamLast updated: 24.02.2002