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Automatic banning of non-cloaked accounts on Wikimedia IRC channels appears excessive
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Description

My fall-back account on IRC is Fae_, with Fae being an alias for Faelig.

Though I am sysop for #wikimedia-lgbt and the creator of the channel, I now appear unable to stay logged in to the channel, and the irc.freenode.org nameserver appears to be refusing my reconnection attempts today, even as Fae. This is especially important as #wikimedia-lgbt is one of the official ways that the WMLGBT+ User Group communicates.

When I was able to log in to the channel yesterday as Fae, I was told that the banning of my alternate on wikimedia-lgbt was due to limiting all Wikimedia channels to cloaked accounts. This appears a misunderstanding, as this appears to have only been happening on wikimedia-lgbt, not on wikimedia-commons or wikimedia-uk.

A search on Phabricator appears to show no official tasks that document whether this was an "official" security decision or not. Could someone please fill me in on what is happening or provide a link where volunteers are being told what is happening, and could someone take a look at whether my main IRC account is now banned for any reason?

Event Timeline

Fae created this task.Aug 6 2018, 7:07 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptAug 6 2018, 7:07 AM
Fae awarded a token.Aug 6 2018, 7:28 AM
Aklapper closed this task as Invalid.Aug 6 2018, 8:50 AM
Aklapper removed a project: IRC-Meetings.

This seems to be unrelated to https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/irc-meetings/ as per its project definition, hence removing that tag.

As far as I know issues with Freenode IRC cloaks or Freenode IRC channel joining policies are not handled in Phabricator.
You may contact whoever made that change. Maybe https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC/Group_Contacts provide some hints.

Az1568 reopened this task as Open.Aug 6 2018, 5:54 PM
Az1568 claimed this task.
Az1568 triaged this task as Medium priority.
Az1568 added a project: wikimedia-irc-freenode.
Az1568 closed this task as Resolved.Aug 6 2018, 5:58 PM

I reached out to Fae yesterday with the following information:

3:38:06 PM <@AlexZ> Fae: ya, there is currently a ban on unregistered users across Wikimedia channels due to the still-ongoing spambot bombardment.
3:38:53 PM <@AlexZ> Might of been a slight transition when you logged in

As far as preventing this in the future, they should try logging in using SASL https://freenode.net/kb/answer/sasl which will authenticate them as they join the server versus authenticating after joining with NickServ and prevent this pesky issue from popping up.

jrbs added a subscriber: jrbs.Aug 6 2018, 5:59 PM

(Disclaimer: I have no volunteer account on Phabricator, so need to flag that the following is from my volunteer position as a group contact on Freenode for the Wikimedia channels)

This blanket ban was implemented to combat Freenode-wide spam that is very persistent (read: the moment we lift this ban, it will likely resume). The spam is of a very personal nature and essentially seeks to doxx Freenode staffers.

Freenode are working on this situation, I believe, through their own systems; hopefully that will allow this to be lifted as I agree it is very excessive and causing serious collateral damage.

Krenair added a subscriber: Krenair.Aug 6 2018, 6:02 PM

Right now their anti-spam measures appear to react to messages already sent between servers. I think at some point they'll just have to start filtering incoming messages (and disconnecting spammers) before sending them across the network