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DALnet, one of the world's biggest IRC service providers, has apologised to its users for disruptions caused by an unusually fierce DDoS attack over the weekend, whose effects are continuing to be felt.

"It is a sad fact that it has been somewhat difficult to connect to DALnet for some time," a notice to its users explains. "There are several reasons for this, including ongoing attacks and a loss of servers.

"This weekend, these problems have increased. DALnet has been under an unusually strong, unusually persistent attack. These attacks are directed at all DALnet client servers, rather than just a few."

DALnet's volunteer administrators is working with service providers and with police to stop these attacks, which are far from easy to block. It's far from the first such attack (which are unfortunately all too easy to carry out), but it is one of the most serious to date.

IRC is a non-profit, non-commercial, text-oriented chat environment, which is run by volunteers and is kept alive with donated hardware and bandwidth. DALnet is currently the largest Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network, with over 140,000 concurrent users and 600,000 registered users, from all over the world. It started in 1994 but now crippling attacks by unknown DDoS kiddiots threaten its future by making the service too expensive to maintain.

We hope they're pleased with themselves.

DALnet user, and Reg reader Richard Revis bemoans the fact that the service has being reduced from around 140,000 to only supporting under 2,000 users by "illiterate Windoze users letting script kiddies use their computers to launch DDoS attacks".

"So far several company supported servers have been forced to delink as companies feel the pressure of supporting a free service which is generating so much malicious traffic," he adds. ®

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