Internet Relay Chat Worm

What Does Internet Relay Chat Worm Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Internet Relay Chat Worm

Once these worms have copied themselves into the computer’s directory, they sometimes make an opening to promote the installation of additional malware. To prevent this from happening, the user needs to be aware of the possible damage the worm can do to the computer system and find ways to prevent infection. These include:

  • Be careful in opening emails, websites and links that seem suspicious.
  • Keep the operating system and anti-virus software up to date and ensure that the virus scanner has been properly installed.
  • Before installing anti-virus software, do some research into which is the most effective software, its benefits and how it works.
  • Establish a firewall. This prevents worms from scanning and infecting the computer system, while updated anti-virus software can spot and eliminate any threats that do enter the system.

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.