THE 2005 BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GETTING WAREZ ON IRC

BY: DIzzIE [c]opyleft 2005 0. Prelude Well, it’s been three and a half years since the first edition of the guide came out so it’s high time this second edition is put together to keep you abreast of the developments in the so-called IRC scene. If you haven’t read the 2002 guide, fret you not—as this guide will explain everything you need to know to get started with download warez from IRC. On that note, this guide is orientated towards the complete beginner, someone who’s never heard of IRC (Internet Relay Chat). On the other hand, if you have used IRC before, skip through the first few sections, but at least cast a cursory glance on some of the other sections, you just might learn something new ;). Secondly, if any of the links don’t work by the time you get your grubby paws on this guide, you can always type creative search strings like ‘mirc’ into your favourite search engine. And finally, while some basic IRC commands are covered in this guide, this is primarily a guide on downloading warez, not on using IRC…there’s plenty of those guides around. Check out www.irchelp.org for starters, as well as typing /help in your IRC client. And now, on with the show… I. Downloading & Configuring IRC As the majority of computer users also happen to use Windows this guide will feature examples and screenshots from mIRC, the most popular Windows IRC client. However, as the commands for IRC are, for the most part, universal, you can use the same commands irrespective of the particular client. There are, of course, various IRC clients for other operating systems: such as Ircle (www.ircle.com) for Mac, or BitchX (www.bitchx.com) for UNIX . Now then, step one is to download IRC. Hop on over to the official mIRC homepage (www.mirc.com) and download the latest version (6.16 at the time of this writing).

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Figure 1. The mIRC Homepage. As you can see, you can Download mIRC, read the IRC FAQ, get a basic list of commands, and much more… Once you have downloaded the install file (which should be just a wee bit over one megabyte), go ahead and install it. There’s no dire need to change any install settings, so go with the defaults if you’re unsure about anything during the install process. After mIRC is installed, go ahead and start the program up. Each time you start the unregistered shareware version you’ll be presented with an annoying nag screen asking you to, well, register. You can either cough up $20 at http://www.mirc.com/register.html, or hop onto your favourite crack site—check out http://astalavista.box.sk—and download a key generator or serial. See my guide on finding serial numbers if you need more help in that area: http://www.dizzy.ws/serials.htm. Following the registration, go ahead and restart mIRC. You will now see Options menu pop-up:

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Figure 2. The basic mIRC Options menu. 1. Enter a fake name or a brief piece of witty social commentary here. 2. Same as #1 3. Enter your handle or nickname, what others will see you as on IRC. Something akin to ‘1337h4x0r’ will get you all of the respect you deserve. 4. A backup nickname in case someone already has the one you specified in step 3. 5. Check the Invisible mode box. This adds a very light layer of anonymity, for instance if someone wanted to see a list of users in a channel without joining the channel, and you didn’t have invisible mode set, on some servers one could type /who #channelname and get a list of users, whom one could then spam… After you have setup the main Connect menu, click on the Servers subcategory under Connect in the Category area on the left:

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Figure 3. The mIRC Servers menu. 1. An IRC network is a collection of servers which in turn have a collection of channels (the equivalent of chatrooms). You can view all of the channels on a network by connecting to any server belonging to the network, but you cannot view the channels located on other networks if you are connected to a different network. For example, two of the most popular networks are Undernet and EFnet. If you connect to an Undernet server, you can view and join all of the channels on the Undernet network, but you cannot view any channels on the EFnet network from an Undernet server. You can specify the network in the top drop-down panel. 2. This will in turn limit the list of servers in the second drop-down panel to those belonging to the network you specified in #1. You can let #1 be ‘All’ to see servers for all networks. 3. As you will later find your favourite warez networks, you will want to add them to the main server/network list by using these buttons. 4. If you’ve already connected to one server, and want to connect to another server/network you don’t have to open a new mIRC window but can just check the New server window box. 5. Finally, press Connect To Server to, well, connect to the server :-P. 6. Clicking on this little sun button will merely take you back to the Connect menu shown in Figure 2 (or to the servers menu if you click it from the menu in Figure 2). The first time you connect to a server, you’ll get an annoying ‘favorites’ pop-up box:

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Figure 4. mIRC Favorites box. Uncheck the ‘Pop up favorites on connect’ box for now. Once you have been to various servers, you may want to input your own favorite channels in case you forget their names, but for now the box is merely an annoyance that you’ll want to get rid of. Now that you’ve connected to a server, you can go ahead and disconnect either by typing /disconnect or by clicking on the connect/disconnect yellow lightening icon in the top left-hand corner of mIRC: .

A quick note on mIRC commands: they are all preceded by a forward-slash (though you can change the command prefix by going to Options Other, if you so desire), and can be typed in any mIRC window, whether it be the chat window, the channel, a private message, or the main Status window. I’ll be typing commands and shortcut key combinations in bold, with variable fields that you can change in italics. There are now a few options you’ll need to further setup to optimize your warez downloading experience. Hit Alt+O to open the mIRC options menu again, and click on DCC.

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Figure 5. The main DCC options menu. Check the ‘Auto-get file’ and the ‘Auto-accept’ radio buttons in the On Send request and the On Chat request areas, respectively. Click OK when the Auto-warning window pops up. The reason for clicking auto-get file is so if you have a file in a server’s queue, and you are not at your computer when the file begins transferring, mIRC will display an approval dialogue box, and thus your transfer won’t begin. That is, unless you have autoget selected. Of course, this also means someone can send you malicious files, which is why you should always virus scan your Downloads folder and never run any files you don’t remember requesting. Also, be sure to select ‘Resume’ in the ‘If file exits’ dropdown box.

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Figure 6. The Folders Configuration menu. If you want to change the default folder for storing your downloaded files, click on the Folders subcategory under DCC, and change the folders to your desired location. The default folder for music files is the install path, followed by \sounds (ie. C:\Program Files\mIRC\sounds), while the default folder for all other files is \download. What’s nice about IRC is that you can set it to place all files with certain extensions into separate folders, so for instance you can set the options to download all movie files (with extensions .avi, .mpg, and so forth…) into \downloads\movies, for better organization. Be sure to click OK after you’re done, or your changes won’t be saved. Next, go down to the Ignore subcategory, and be sure to disable ignoring by changing the Method to ‘Disabled’, versus the default ‘allow only.’ Also, be sure to uncheck the ‘turn ignore back on in’ option.

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Figure 7. The DCC Ignore menu. Congratulations, you should now have all the minimal options selected that will allow you to download warez with ease. You should, of course, feel free to browse through the various other options available and tweak them to your liking (you may especially want to disable all Sounds, as that shit gets annoying pretty fucking fast). Now it’s time to take IRC for a test run! II. IRC Search Engines: An Excursus into Packetnews.com When the first edition of this guide was being written, XDCC bots (we’ll get to those in a little bit) were just beginning to get popular, and there was no organized search engine for searching for warez on IRC (though there were some places that allowed you to search for mere channels, as opposed to files). Soon afterwards however, various IRC search engines sprouted up which allow you to search for warez on IRC. The biggest of these search engines is www.packetnews.com.

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Figure 8. The packetews homepage. For now, go ahead and type in the name of that popular film/album/game/software that you’ve been dying to download into the search box and hit Search. As you can see, Packetnews is now chock-full of banners (as opposed to only a single banner when it first started), thus you’ll want to have a pop-up blocker installed to minimize the spam.

Figure 9. A packetnews search result page.

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One thing to note at this point is that the search engine doesn’t handle apostrophes well at all, thus when searching for a title with an apostrophe in it (for instance, the film Devil’s Rejects), you’ll either want to search for ‘devil rejects’, thus cutting off the ‘s’ entirely, and getting more results, or search for ‘devils rejects’, ignoring the apostrophe, but getting less results or hits. The fields in the packetnews search result table are fairly self-explanatory, but nonetheless: Network is the name of the IRC network the file is on, while Channel is the specific channel the file is on. Likewise, bot is the name of the bot in the channel that has the file, and pack is the location of the file within the bot. Active is the amount of time the bot has been online since the packetnews crawler last indexed it. Slots designates the amount of open download slots on the bot, while Que is the number of files already in line for downloading from other users. Kps is the speed at which the total transfers on the bots are going, in kilobytes per second. Naturally, you will first want to choose the bot with the fastest Kps and the shortest Que. Gets is the amount of times that particular file has already been downloaded, Size is the size of the file, and Description is generally the filename. For a detailed description of what some of the more cryptic abbreviations such as ‘svcd’ or ‘cam’ mean, check out http://www.vcdquality.com/index.php?page=faq. Now then, once you select a search result to download, simply click on the pack number, and your IRC window should automatically pop-up with the following dialogue box:

Figure 10. mIRC Link Request menu. If you are currently not connected to any server, keep the default option selected, ‘Change servers and join the channel,’ and hit OK. If you are requesting a ‘pack’ or file from a channel that’s on the server you’re already connected to, you’ll want to select the second radio button: ‘Join the channel on the current server.’ Finally, if you’re already on a different server and do not wish to be disconnected from it, select the third option, ‘Open a new connection’, and a new server window will appear. Once you hit OK, IRC should automatically connect to the server and join the channel where the bot is located. If you are using Internet Explorer as your web browser, packetnews should’ve copied the command to request the file to your clipboard, so all 10

you do once you’ve joined the channel is press Ctrl+v to paste the command and hit Enter. If, however, you are using a browser other than IE you will likely have to manually type out the command, the format is: /ctcp botsname xdcc send #packnumber. In this case, the command is /ctcp xdcc_wd38 xdcc send #1. Depending on the amount of files others have requested before you, you may have to wait a bit in the queue, or the file may start transferring right away. For more information on downloading and file queues see section IV of this guide.

Figure 11. A typical warez chanel… The first time you request a file, even if you turned auto-get on, you’ll get a File Warning pop-up:

Figure 12. File Warning pop-up window.

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Be sure to Uncheck the ‘Always show this warning’ checkbox, and hit OK. The file should now start transferring:

Figure 13. A DCC Transfer box. And there you have it; you’re well on your way to downloading the warez :). Now that you know the basic procedure to setup IRC, search for a file, and download it, let’s go back and look at some more helpful features of packetnews. If you look carefully, you’ll see a little spreadsheet icon next to the channel name on your packetnews search results page: . Clicking on this icon takes you to a list of all the packs all of the bots on the channel are currently offering for download. You can browse the list, and if you see something you like, just click on the pack number. We’ll explore the finer points of downloading files in section IV later on. Packetnews furthermore has an Advanced Search link next to the default Search button.

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Figure 14. The packetnews Advanced Search interface. Here you can specify whether you want to search for bots that are currently (or at least during the time of the last packetnews crawl) online, specify which network you wish to search and so forth. Note that with the advance search you can, at this time, only search XDCC bots, while on the default simple search you can also elect to search fserves. The differences between these two kinds of file servers will be discussed in Section IV, but for now let us just say that you should first search XDCC servers, and if you can’t find what you need, then proceed to search fserves. Be advised that the statistics packetnews returns (particularly the download speeds) aren’t always accurate, while some bots it may list as being online have actually gone offline since the last check, so do be prepared for some disappointments. Take it in stride, you little trooper, you. Finally, there may be some times when packetnews.com is down for maintenance and the like. In which case here are a few other IRC search engines (which have very similar interfaces) to hold you over: • IRCSpy - http://ircspy.com/ • MyDownloader - http://www.mydownloader.com • isoHunt - http://isohunt.com/ (be sure to hit the ‘IRC’ button when searching) • IRC Klipper - http://www.ircklipper.info

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MircSearch - http://www.mircsearch.co.uk/ (a pseudo-meta search engine that lets you search 11 different IRC search engines from one page, with varying degrees of success)

III. Searching for Channels on Your Own. Packetnews may be good, but there are some channels which either don’t want their contents listed on packetnews, or simply don’t use either fserves or xdcc servers and are therefore not listed anyway. Luckily, there are two main ways you can search for channels yourself. The /list Command For this first example, go ahead and connect to any network that you like. You can then request a list of channels on the network by typing /list. However, as there are thousands of channels on the larger networks, you’ll naturally want to limit your search results. As you can only do one list search at a time, you can type /list stop to abort the current search. To narrow your list search results, select a key term that you would like to appear in the channel name. For instance, if you’re searching for an mp3 channel, it would be sensible to type /list *mp3*. The wildcards preceding and succeeding the search term mean that the channel can have the term anywhere in its title. A Channels window will then pop-up showing any matches:

Figure 15. Undernet MP3 channels list. As you can see in Figure 15, out of the 28,101 channels on Undernet, there are 299 with the term ‘mp3’ in them. The numbers represent the amount of users in the channel. While more users generally means more folks to download from, it also means longer download queues. The colourful messages on the right are the channel ‘topics’ which generally tell you a brief bit of information about the channel. To join a channel you can either type 14

/join #channelname, for instance /join #mp3passion, or simply double-click on the channel. Channel Search Engines The second method of searching for channels is to use a channel search engine (not to be confused with the file search engines discussed in Section II). Think of the channel search sites as typing the same command as in the above example simultaneously on a wide array of networks. Furthermore, some of the channel search engines also search the topics of the channel for keywords, something which the /list command fails to do.

Figure 16. Netsplit.de channel search result page for ‘divx.’ Clicking on the ‘irc://’ link takes you into the channel. Some IRC channel search sites to try out: • Netsplit.de - http://irc.netsplit.de/channels/ • Search IRC - http://searchirc.com/ • Gogloom - http://gogloom.com/ IV. Downloading Now that you know how to find the channels, it’s time to learn how to download from them. You’ll see three types of file servers on IRC: listservs, fserves, and XDCC bots. The first thing to do is to enter the desired channel, and just idle for a few minutes to let the server (irrespective of type of server) advertise in the channel. Furthermore, be sure to read the topic of each channel you join as some may have a set of special rules you must

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abide by (you’ll see the topic displayed in the channel window as soon as you join the channel). By the way, a note on a slight change in terminology: while in Section I the term ‘server’ was used to describe the actual IRC server that’s part of the larger network you connect to, from now on I’ll be using ‘server’ to mean ‘file server’, that is a bot/person who is running a script to serve files. Listservers Listservers work by sending you a text file that contains a list of all of the files the user is serving, or offering for download. You then paste the file trigger for the desired files into the channel and the listserver adds them to the queue. Listservers can usually be recognized by a distinctive line in their advertisements, namely “type trigger for my list of files”, and are usually the predominant types of servers in bookwarez and mp3 channels. The trigger is usually—though not always—the user’s name preceded by the @ symbol, for instance if my username was DIzzIEe, the trigger you would type to get my list of files would be @DIzzIEe.

Figure 17. Numerous listservers in a channel. On occasion, as can be seen in Figure 17, users will have special commands that send specified lists. For instance one list can contain only non-English or non-fiction books, while another list may only contain books that have been scanned in the past week. Though in most cases, typing the master trigger of @usersname will send you the main file list—that is assuming that the user is running a listserver for serving his files. Once you have typed the trigger that was specified in the advertisement in the channel, you will receive a text file (which might be compressed into a rar or zip archive to save

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space, thus you will need to extract it first using a program such as Winrar) that contains a list of all of the files the user is currently serving.

Figure 18. A listserv file-list text file. You can then browse or search through the file to find the material you are interested in, and then paste the file trigger into the channel. Note that you only need to paste the trigger, followed by the filename, pasting any of the additional info is not necessary, and indeed may lead to the listserver not recognizing your request. Likewise, there can be no spaces before the request. A correct request would thus be ‘!weewilly Ackroyd, Peter Hawksmoor (txt).zip’ (sans quotes), while an incorrect request may look like so: ‘ send me !weewilly Ackroyd, Peter - Hawksmoor (txt).zip ::INFO:: 218Kb’. And once again remember that you are to paste this request into the channel, not send it via a private message to the user. Depending on the existing file queue, you may either get a message that the file is on its merry way, that it has been entered into the queue, or that there are too many items in the queue and you should try again in a little while. In the case of the two latter responses, try to remember that most users who are running listservers are real people who are sparing their own bandwidth to offer you free warez. In other words, don’t you fucking dare complain about slow speeds or long queues. 17

Let us now take a closer look at all of the statistics usually advertised by a listserver by examining the listserver of one weewilly, as seen in Figure 17, and reproduced here, sans the perty colours: “[19:45] <weewilly> [1] SO MANY BOOKS AND SO LITTLE TIME! [2] Type: @weewilly For My List Of: 12,261 Files • [3] Slots: 3/3 • [4] Queued: 0 • [5] Speed: 0cps • [6] Next: NOW • [7] Served: 45,564 • [8] List: Aug 28th • [9] Search: OFF • [10] Mode: Normal •”. 1) A general message will usually introduce the server, which may tell you what kinds of books or music the listserver specializes in, any special instructions, or just a general whimsical message. 2) The list request trigger, followed by the total number of files offered. 3) The amount of available send slots/the amount of total send slots. That is, the amount of concurrent file transfers to different users the server allows. So if the server showed ‘1/3’ slots it would mean that two other users were currently downloading files, and there’s room for one more user to start downloading without waiting in a queue. Therefore if ‘0/3’ slots are free, it would mean that you would have to queue your files and wait for the other users to finish their transfer before your files will begin downloading. 4) The number of total files that are queued by other users. Note that as one user can only have one transfer at a time, if there is an empty slot your files will begin transferring even if the queue isn’t 0. To see the queue position of your request files type @serversname-que. 5) The total bandwidth currently used by the server. ‘CPS’ stands for characters per second, with one character being roughly equivalent to one byte. Thus a transfer rate of 40,000cps would be 40 kilobytes per second (a standard cable modem speed). 6) When the next send slot will be available, based on the shortest time remaining of any of the on-going DCC transfers. 7) The total number of files sent to date. 8) The date the file-list was last updated. 9) Whether or not the server responds to search requests (more about those in a sec) 10) What ‘mode’ the server is in. ‘Normal’ means that all users in the channel have equal priority to receiving the files. While a mode setting of ‘servers priority’ would mean that users who are also serving files (and thus have a rank of voice— as designated by a + next to their name—or operator—designated by an @) will receive their files before normal users. If you have any other questions about the available listserv commands, you can try typing @serversname-help in the channel to get a full list of available commands, such as the helpful @serversname-remove filename to remove a certain file that you no longer want from the queue. When requesting files remember that the format is !serversname filename. In certain cases, the user serving the files may have switched his username without updating the listserver and thus you will have to change the server’s name listed in the file-list text file to match the server’s new name.

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To find out who is serving files try typing !list in the channel, but be aware that not all listservers respond to the list command, and thus your best bet is to just stick around the channel for some time to find out who is serving. If you wish to search for files without downloading all the available file-lists there are a variety of search commands you may type in the channel, these are usually either @find keyword or @search keyword. Though once again, keep in mind that not all servers may respond to the search command. Fserves Fserves (short for file servers) are mainly used by legitimate users on general warez channels. Instead of obtaining a list of files as you would from a listserv, you initiate a DCC chat session with the server and navigate various directories, as you would in a DOS environment, to get the file(s) your little heart desires.

Figure 19. Numerous fserves in a channel. As you can see in Figure 19, the advertisements displayed by fserves are generally very similar to those of the listservers, with just one noteworthy difference: the presence of an ‘online’ field, which shows how many users are currently browsing the server/how many total users can browse the server simultaneously. Thus, if you receive a ‘server busy, try again later’ message it means that there are too many users online and you should try the trigger again in a minute or so.

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Figure 20. An fserve DCC chat window. Once you type the trigger, the chat window should automatically open up (assuming that you changed your ‘on chat request’ settings to ‘auto-accept’ as described back in Section I). As you can see in Figure 20, by typing help in the DCC chat window, you will be presented with a list of fairly self-explanatory available commands. Perhaps the only thing that isn’t clear is the distinction between the ls and the dir commands. Dir lists every file on a separate line, while ls lists multiple files on the same line, thus dir is usually the preferred choice of the two. The read command is used primarily for text files, and will display garbage when used for most other file formats. Directory or folder names will be in ALL CAPS or succeeded by a forward slash (/) (depending on the type of fserve), while filenames will be displayed in lowercase. The first thing you would typically do once you have connected to the server is type dir to get a list of files. You may also first be presented with a disclaimer that asks you to type ‘c’ to continue or ‘s’ to stop, in which case you can keep typing dir until the files are listed. You can then browse the files and copy the filename that you would like to get and then simply type get filename to receive the file, or put it into the queue. Once you have made your requests, you can either type exit in the DCC chat window to end the session but keep the window open, or simply type /close -c serversname to close that particular DCC chat window.

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One other item of interest within the fserve that you should keep in mind is the time-out line, ‘Closing Idle connection in 30 seconds.’ This means that if you don’t type anything in the chat window for 30 seconds your connection will be closed and you will need to type the fserve trigger to connect again. So when you’re browsing through the file list remember to type a few random letters every few seconds. To obtain a list of all available fserves in a channel—much like for the listservers—all you do is type !list in the channel. However, upon doing so you may receive the error message ‘Cannot send to channel (Channel is moderated)’ which means that the channel is set to +m mode, as denoted in the channel titlebar: , and therefore only users who are voiced or operators (those who have a + or an @ in front of their usernames, respectively) can type messages in the channel. In this case you will simply have to wait for the servers to advertise (or alternatively try one of the tricks mentioned in Section VII). As a sidenote, the +m status of many warez channels is the reason why most fserve triggers begin with /ctcp, which stands for client-to-client protocol, and thus the trigger is sent straight to the server—as opposed to the channel—which in turn means that you can access fserves even on moderated channels. This leads us to the troublesome issue of poorly configured servers which advertise a standard trigger, such as !access my filez on moderated channels. The solution is to preface the trigger with /ctcp usersname and thus send the trigger directly to the server to gain access. As for searching the fserves, depending on the serving script, many will respond to the @find command (the same search command as for listservers), also don’t forget that packetnews has an fserve search function as well. XDCC Bots Unlike the previous two kinds of servers, which are run by actual users who have set up the servers of their own accord and thus usually have cable or even dialup connections, the majority—though at the risk of defaming legitimate xdcc servers, not all—of xdcc bots are rooted boxes that are running a vulnerable version of some software (such as MySQL, or just Windows :-P) that the attacker infiltrated, and then loaded up with files and initiated an IRC session. Thus, the advantage of an xdcc server is that the transfer speed will usually be fairly fast, assuming that the compromised computer is at a business or educational establishment, however, the disadvantage is that these servers are sporadic at best, with the owner of the actual machine eventually patching the open holes. In other words: if you see something on an xdcc bot that you want, don’t put off getting it ‘til tomorrow, it may be gone by then!

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Figure 21. Numerous XDCC bots in a channel. XDCC servers further differ from fserves and listservers in that the amount of ‘packs’ or files offered is usually substantially less than the two aforementioned server types. You will typically not see more than thirty files on a single xdcc server. Mainly, this is due to the fact that xdcc servers are meant for the rapid dissemination of new content, and placing too much content on a single server will both overload it in terms of bandwidth consumption and queue space, and may furthermore force the server offline due to flooding (that is to say, due to it responding to more file requests than it can handle). You’ll further note that you can usually only request one file in the queue on xdcc bots. Each file on an xdcc bot is called a ‘pack’, with each pack assigned a number. You request the pack number to get the desired file. The standard command to obtain a list of packs the bot is offering is to type /msg botsname xdcc list. If the channel isn’t moderated, you can try to get a list of all the packs all the xdcc bots in the channel are offering by simply typing xdcc list in the channel. Be forewarned that some channels ban users who type the list command due to the fact that it shows impatience on the part of the lecher (that’d be you, the greedy little downloader), not to mention the fact that it wastes the bot’s bandwidth to reply to your incessant list requests. Furthermore, some xdcc bots have the file list command disabled, and thus upon typing xdcc list you may be presented with the message “XDCC LIST Denied. Wait for public list in the channel.” Thus your best option is to simply idle in the channel for a few minutes (the bots usually advertise every 10-15 minutes) and find the goodies the bots are offering that way (or perhaps use the file lists on packetnews). To request a file type /msg botsname xdcc send #packnumber (you can also precede the command with /ctcp instead of /msg, for requesting packs it usually makes no

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difference). For instance, if one wanted to request the Hardcore Junkiee Volume 2 CD from the XDCC-02 bot in Figure 21, one would type /msg XDCC-02 xdcc send #1. Be advised that some channels have changed the xdcc send trigger to reply to specialized commands, so be sure to watch the channel topic or the bot’s announcements for any such changes (for instance, to grab files from #nsane-warez on irc.nodramairc.net you’ll have to use the syntax nsane send as opposed to the usual xdcc send). Some xdcc bots also allow you to view some general information about the file by typing /msg botsname xdcc info #packnumber. The information returned usually includes the exact file size, the complete file name, date the file was modified, as well as the md5 checksum—a unique ‘fingerprint’ of the file—which can be used to make sure that you have received the correct file by using a program such as the MD5 GUI from Toast442 (http://www.toast442.org/md5/). Though is generally thought to be a rather unessential step, mainly due to the fact that if the MD5 sum doesn’t match, you can’t exactly send a verbose complaint letter to the xdcc bot :-P. Finally, should you want to remove a file from the xdcc bot’s queue, type /msg botsname xdcc remove (and here note that unlike other xdcc bot commands which can be prefaced with either /msg or /ctcp, the remove command must begin with /msg). V. Automating Downloading Now that you know the basic procedures for downloading from a variety of server types, you will have certainly become familiar with the pain in the ass that is the file queue. You’re not the only one downloading files, and so you must compete with a slew of other greedy lechers all wanting to get the files from that particular server. On larger channels and for more popular files, shit may get so bad that not only are all of the server’s send slots filled up, but the queue is full as well—oh dear! Thus, lest you want to sit in front of IRC all day pressing the up arrow to bring back the previous file request command you typed and keep submitting it in hopes of at least getting into the queue, you’ll have to automate your requests. The /timer Command Said automation is achieved via the /timer command. The basic timer syntax is as follows: /timer# repetitions frequency command. The timer # allows you to number the timer and thus setup different timers simultaneously. The repetition value is the number of times you want the specified command to be repeated, with 0 standing for an infinite amount of times. The frequency field is the value in seconds that you want your command to be executed. Finally, the command field is what you want the timer to type for you. For instance, the timer string /timer1 0 32 /msg XDCC-BOT76 xdcc send #4 will automatically enter the command ‘/msg XDCC-BOT76 xdcc send #4’ every 32 seconds an infinite number of times. Meanwhile, in another channel you can setup another timer string: /timer2 50 32 /msg #bookz !Bookfrog Bukowski, Charles - Post Office.rar. This second timer will paste the string ‘!Bookfrog Bukowski, Charles - Post Office.rar’ into the channel #bookz every 32 seconds, 50 times (that is, it will send the command

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once every 32 seconds for 50 sets of 32 seconds, not send the one command 50 times in 32 seconds). Note that timers that are intended to be used with listservers and will thus be dumping the command into the channel must have the command begin with /msg #channelname, or else the command will simply be pasted into the mIRC Status window. The beauty of the timer command is that if the queue of the listserver or the xdcc bot is full, you may simply setup the timer to keep requesting the file on your behalf and meanwhile go about your business. Once you come back to the computer and the file has been successfully received or queued, you can stop a specific timer by typing /timer# off, or you can stop all timers with /timers off. At this point you may be asking why not just set all timers to send the file request command non-stop as opposed to a pause of 32 seconds, as used in the examples above. Well, the reason is that most channels frown upon timers as they tend to flood the bots with useless messages. Hence if the bot detects your timed message being sent too fast, you will be banned from the bot and from the channel. Experience has shown that 32 seconds is a good, safe duration to set timers to, at least for xdcc bots. Download Helper Programs & Scripts If you don’t feel like putzing around with the timer commands on your own, recently a few helpful programs/mIRC script add-ons have been developed that further automate your downloads. To assist you with xdcc bot download automation, there’s a nice free program called XDCC Klipper (http://xdccklipper.sourceforge.net).

Figure 22. XDCC Klipper Configuration menu.

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XDCC Klipper will automatically generate a list of all of the xdcc bots and all of the packs they’re offering in a separate window in mIRC, after which all you do is doubleclick on the file and Klipper will add it to your queue. If you want to request more than one pack from the same xdcc bot, Klipper will automatically add it to its own internal queue, called the Klipboard, and will then proceed to queue the file in the xdcc bot automatically after the first file finishes. See, no more messing with yucky timers :). As there is a fine tutorial on setting up XDCC Klipper available here: http://xdccklipper.sourceforge.net/support/support.html, as well as a readme file included with Klipper (called xdcc.nfo and can be opened in Notepad), I won’t get into too much detail about how to setup XDCC Klipper, but in a nutshell the barebones steps that will enable you to use Klipper are as follows: 1) After downloading Klipper, extract the files into a folder of your choice and in mIRC type: /load -rs “installpath\xdccklipper.mrc”. For example, /load -rs “C:\mIRC\download\xdcc_4.41\xdccklipper.mrc” 2) Right-click in any mIRC window and Go to Script Options XDCC Klipper Configuration, and configure the settings to your liking. 3) Right-click again, this time going to XDCC Klipper Windows Open the Status Window, Open XDCC Klipper Window. 4) You’ll now see a separate window come up listing all of the packs in the channel (this may take a while if the xdcc bots don’t respond to xdcc list and the Klipper has to wait for the bots to advertise in the channel so that it can ‘klip’ the advertisements into the separate window.) 5) Double click on the packs you want and if you have sound turned on Klipper will tell you that the file is either sending or has been added to the queue. The packs will also appear in your Klipper status window.

Figure 23. The XDCC Klipper pack list window.

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Similar programs to the free XDCC Klipper include the free XDCC-Fetch (http://xdccfetch.sourceforge.net/) and the not-so-free XDCC Catcher (http://www.xdcccatcher.com/) (while the basic version is free, the unnecessary Pro version goes for €10). Also, at the time of this writing ^OmeN^ is developing an XDCC script of his own called XDCC Center, so keep a lookout on www.omenscripts.org for its official release. If, however, you want to automate downloads for listservers without bothering with timers as well, you need a program called Autoget (http://www.omenscripts.org/autoget/index.html). Once again, Autoget comes with an extensive help file that tells you how to install/configure the script, and works on much the same level as the XDCC catching scripts: it obtains the file lists from various listservers in the specified channels, and allows you to open them/queue a large amount of files. A recently developed similar program that tends to use less RAM is called vPowerGet.NET (http://www.geocities.com/vangelis_df/vPowerGetNET/vPowerGetNET.htm). Finally, while (afaik) there are no tools to completely automate downloading from fserves, the process is nonetheless made easier by using the Fserve Explorer setting available in the Invision serving script (mentioned in Section VI), along with a small script called QueueMan (it is available from the Criten network—irc.cirten.net, in the channel #tmd, by typing the trigger !queuemanager). VI. Giving Back to the Community (or: how to get the warez sooner and faster) Now that you have doubtless amassed quite the collection of warez, you may be experiencing the all too human urge to give back to the community by setting up your own file server. Well, the altruistic bullshit aside, the fact of the matter is that by serving files you’ll often get various perks such as being placed in special priority queues reserved for servers and ops (a perk usually found in listserver channels), or access to private distro (short for distribution) channels or/and FTPs (the common reward in xdcc channels). To start you off, here’s a list and current download locations of the various kinds of file servers (as all of the scripts come with readmes/help files, it’d be awfully redundant to provide installation instructions in this guide as well, no? ;)): Listservers • OmeNServE - http://www.omenscripts.org/omenserve/index.html • SPR Multimedia Jukebox - http://spr.darkrealms.org/spr/ • vPowerServe http://www.geocities.com/vangelis_df/vPowerServe/vPowerServe.html Fserves • •

Invision - http://invision.lebyte.com (mirror at http://www.scriptheaven.net/downloadview-details-211-Invision.html) Polaris SE - http://www.polaris-central.com

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SysReset - http://www.sysreset.com/

XDCC Scripts • iroffer - http://iroffer.org/ • XDCC Serving Bot - http://www.mircscripts.com/cgi-bin/file.php?id=103 • Also note that scripts like Invision and SysReset allow you to setup XDCC file servers as well. Remember that if the links don’t work by the time you read this guide you should search your favourite search engine or just ask around in the channels where you saw folks using the script…If you want to find out what serving script the user is running, type /ctcp username version.

Figure 24. The main settings menu for Invision. As you can see Invision is much more than a simple file server, providing a variety of other useful features. Don’t let the plethora of options throw you however as all are explained in the ‘Active Help’ window by positioning your mouse over the particular option.

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Now then, once you find a channel that you like, look in the topic for any instructions for file servers. If you like—and if it’s not explicitly forbidden in the rules—message an op and ask for serving instructions. Most of the larger, more established channels have either a general chat channel or/and a specialized recruitment channel to help you out with serving. Some channels will also require you to download a specially tweaked serving script, usually a modified version of Invision. For instance the TMD family of channels on irc.criten.net direct you to download a special TMD Recruit Pack from http://www.tmdmoviez.com (Figure 25). In general, the requirements for serving are as follows: • Must have a broadband (DSL/cable) or faster connection (though some channels do allow you 56-kers to play as well) • Must serve a set variety of files (books in a books channel, movies in a movie channel, etc.) • Must only serve in that one channel and not be serving in any other channels (though technically nothing is stopping you from installing two versions of mIRC and two file serving scripts on two or more different networks…) • Must serve for a specified amount of time (such as 10 hours per day for 5 out of 7 days a week)

Figure 25. The TMD Recruit Pack modified mIRC/Invision client/server. As mentioned at the onset of this section, once you’ve served for a predetermined amount of time, you’ll likely be invited into a private distro channel with special XDCC bots that receive the newest files with higher speeds and lower queues (if any). Furthermore, upon serving for a couple months (give or take a few weeks, depending on the channel) you may be given access to private FTP servers, called ‘dumps’, which also receive the latest warez even faster :).

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If serving isn’t exactly your bag, not to worry. With the recent rise in interest in rooting boxes to turn into xdcc servers, numerous channels are also now looking for rooters and scanners. Rooters are the guys who run programs to ‘root’ computers that are running unpatched (read: exploitable) software, to install xdcc bots onto. For a nice ‘educational’ guide to rooting, see “XDCC – An .EDU Admin’s Nightmare” (http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~bukys/host/tonikgin/EduHacking.html). Once you have rooted a few boxes for the channel owners, you’ll receive distro/FTP access, much like the fileservers. Finally, a scanner simply runs a program (usually X-Scan) to scan IP ranges for vulnerabilities, and then sends the list of vulnerable IPs to the rooter. Due to the fairly menial nature of scanning, you’ll usually have to routinely provide fresh IP lists for a few days or weeks before you’re given distro access. Keep in mind that ISPs usually frown upon scanning activity, so you are better off loading the scanning program on a public box (i.e. a library computer). To find guaranteed vulnerable ranges you can /whois botsname to find an xdcc server’s IP, and set your scanner to scan the ranges nearby. Though this trick may not work all the time as some rooters tend to password protect their rooted boxes (which isn’t entirely a smart move on their part, as this will only drive the real owner of the computer to reformat sooner). VII. Miscellaneous Tips & Tricks At last, here are a few odds ‘n’ ends that didn’t fit anywhere else, but that you may find useful nonetheless: • Password Protection. You can password protect your copy of mIRC by holding down the ctrl key and pressing the Minimize button. In order to access the window again you will either have to enter the password or shutdown mIRC from the Task Manager and restart it again.

Figure 26. mIRC Password configuration box. • If you’re in your favourite S&M channel downloading full-length skin flicks and your coworker or grandmother just happens to wonder in (and they just happen to prefer water sports over the rough stuff), you can type /clear to clear the immediate window of all text, /clearall to clear all windows, or /exit to exit mIRC altogether.

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As alluded to in Section IV, if you want to be able to type commands into a moderated channel, what you can try to do is leave the channel, change your nick to match the patterns used by the bots, and then rejoin the channel. For instance, if most of the xdcc bots are called XDCC-THESHIT-** you can type /nick XDCCTHESHIT-23. The theory being that once you rejoin the channel a script will either auto-voice you, or an op will notice that a bot isn’t voiced and grant you voice mode as well. Be aware that when you connect to an IRC server others can usually see your IP address (a unique footprint your computer leaves) by typing /whois username. Some servers allow host masking via the x mode. If it is not automatically enabled, go ahead and type /mode yourusername x. While this will at least partially mask your IP from random passerbys and spammers, whenever you engage in a DCC session (i.e. a chat or a file transfer) your IP does become visible to the receiver/sender of the file or chat session. Furthermore, the administrators of the IRC server/network will also be able to see your IP. While this isn’t too great of an issue right now, what with the MPAA/RIAA focusing their lawsuits on bittorrent and kazaa downloaders, it is something to be aware of nonetheless. There are of course ways to mask your IP by using SOCKS proxies or a program such as Tor (http://tor.eff.org), but these methods are generally unreliable for long-term use and may inhibit your ability to send/receive files as well. Once again, remember that if you need help with a particular topic or command you can simply type /help command/keyword, for example /help /timer or /help dcc to open up the relevant portion of the mIRC help file. Finally, while waiting for files to download why not /run winmine and play some Minesweeper :).

I do hope you’ve enjoyed the guide—yes, it may be a tad longwinded in places, that I know—but I have tried to cover everything that one needs to know to be on their merry way downloading the warez ;). If you have any comments/questions/suggestions feel free to email me at: xcon0@yahoo.com For more interesting files check out www.dizzy.ws & www.rorta.net And remember to never complain about long queues or slow download speeds—as it’s certainly better than not getting the file at all, and above all else—enjoy!

* Disconnected

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