Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real time chat designed for group (channel) communication or private communication via private messaging. IRC was created back in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen, and since then, its popularity has grown and grown. IRC is an open protocol using TCP (sometimes TLS) working on a server/client model. The standard server port is TCP 6667, but it’s also run under several other nearby ports (6668, 6669, etc.) On the IRC server, there are many channels, each created for a purpose, for a group of people of similar interest. Channels and users have modes which are represented by letters. Becoming familiar with the common IRC modes will help you quickly identify a wide range of information. For more information, please refer to the Wikipedia IRC entry.
HexChat is an IRC client that lets you connect to various IRC servers. HexChat is not installed by default in Kali Linux but it can easily be installed as follows:
After installation, HexChat can be located under: Applications > Usual applications > Internet > HexChat
After running HexChat for the first time, you should see a window similar to the one below.
Complete the appropriate Username Information fields, select FreeNode from the Networks list, and click Connect. You MUST register your nickname with FreeNode in order to be able to speak in our #offsec channel. This will also prevent others from using the same nickname as you on the FreeNode IRC network. Once you have found an available nickname, register it by typing the following command in the HexChat window:
You can hide your email address from the public by issuing the following command:
Once you have registered your nick, you will need to identify with NickServ each time you connect to the server as follows, being extremely careful not to expose your password to a public channel:
For more information about user registration, please refer to the FreeNode registration page. In addition to registering your IRC nick, it is also advisable to get a hostname cloak. You can do so by asking an administrator in the #freenode channel. This will prevent other users from seeing your IP address while connected to IRC. Our channel is located in #offsec. To join our channel simply type the following:
As an alternative to HexChat, you can use any other IRC client or FreeNode Web Chat to connect to the FreeNode network. Once you have joined the channel you can ‘Private Message’ (PM) another person where you can talk “one to one”. The standard way of doing this is:
Depending on your IRC client, a new tab or window may appear that will be used for private messaging. Please note that your IRC client may have slightly differently terminology, especially if you use the GUI instead of the /msg command. To use the GUI in HexChat, along the right hand side you can right click on a user in the “User List” and select “Open Dialog Window”. This will place you in a PM with that person.
Once in the channel, be polite and courteous – that’s pretty much it. We do not tolerate profanity of any type – please take this into consideration.