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The Internet Relay Chat (IRC) worm is a program that spreads via message forums or chat rooms by sending infected files or websites using IRC channels. The IRC network is connected to thousands of channels, making it susceptible to a worm attack. Before this worm can spread, it needs to establish a connection to the IRC network or drop detailed scripts to the IRC client directory. Next, when the infected client logs in to the IRC server and connects to any channel, the installed script will cause the client to send a copy of the infected file to other users in the same channel.
IRC worms are considered to be a less effective kind of computer worm due to the fact that the receiver must confirm, open and then save the infected file in order for it to spread through the system. Some of these worms target mIRC, one of the more popular IRC clients, in which case they can send and install copies of themselves without the user's permission.