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Why do hosting providers often fear IRC?

I heard often from hosting providers that they disallow IRC on their servers. So it's hard to rent a server where services use the Internet Relay Chat protocol. Can anybody give a plausible reason for this behavior? What is so bad about the IRC protocol? Are there any good alternatives to run a chat?

shah's picture

Liability for malicious users is the main reason

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Certainly, IRC is a good way for a team meet up, community relations and provide customer service. But at the same time, it poses the risk of vulnerability. Not all people out there with a PC is not with good intention, you have to keep that in mind. IRC server and clients may be under attack of such stupid people. Any IRC client’s IP is visible and a couple of keyboard hit (/WHOIS command) can keep his/her open to DOS and/or DDOS attack. You can use the proxy list to continuously block and/or ban IP address. And It doesn’t end here. You have to keep an eye on the proxy list all the time to keep your IRC safe. There is no easy way like automated codes to do the job for you, not yet at least.