[Announcement] Network problems

Yesterday evening, freenode had network problems related to the recent spambot infestation. Despite the recent server patch, the underlying infestation continues and has created some temporary resource issues. Several servers restarts ensued and network staff rearranged the main server rotation to compensate for the problem.

The network is once again running smoothly. However, in order to resolve remaining resource issues, staff has scheduled server restarts at 6am UTC (10pm in San Francisco, 7am in Stockholm, 5pm in Sydney). The restarts will affect most of the network but should be very brief.

Other than the problems yesterday evening, the network has been running well, and staff considers the upgrade to be a qualified success. We’ll keep you posted in case of additional problems. Thanks much for your patience!

[Announcement] Temporary DNS Change

For the last 18 hours, freenode experienced a large-scale nuisancebot infestation. We temporarily removed the irc.freenode.net rotation and replaced it with chat.freenode.net, in order to try to stem the tide of spambots hitting the network. In the process of doing so, we discovered a new methodology for analyzing the spambot net and produced a patched server version to mitigate the effects of the infestation. As of a few minutes ago, all freenode servers have been upgraded to this new code.

We’re not certain how long the patch will work. Botnets are modified over time by their creators and this one will likely be no exception. We hope we can utilize the new methodology to handle subsequent generations of botnets, but there’s no guarantee our efforts will be successful. We believe that it will be helpful to make a gradual, permanent cutover of the main rotation hostname from irc.* to chat.* to make it somewhat less likely we’ll experience future problems.

If you’re a client developer or you run an IRC network list site, please do not list chat.freenode.net, in your client or site without first emailing staff at freenode dot net to make sure it’s okay to do so.

Finally, we want to thank you all for your patience and understanding. You’ve helped us stay on track and resolve the current difficulties, and we appreciate it. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thank you for using freenode!

[Announcement] DNS change

freenode is currently experiencing a large-scale nuisancebot infestation. We’ve temporarily removed the irc.freenode.net rotation, but you can find us on chat.freenode.net. If you’re a client developer or you run an IRC network list site, please do not list this new hostname without first emailing staff at freenode dot net to make sure it’s okay to do so. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thank you for using the network!