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SILC Secure Internet Live Conferencing

Silc in German


What is Silc and what is it good for?

Q: How is this different from SecureIRC (IRC + SSL encryption)?

A: SecureIRC is merely a "fix" to make an inherently insecure service (irc) use a secure transport mechanism (ssl). SecureIRC has many drawbacks:
  • Not everyone in a channel may be using SecureIRC, making all communication in the channel prone to snooping.

  • There is no facility for checking a person's identity

  • In order to have a secure conversation, one must "trust" the irc server. That is, trust the sysadmins and hosting operators.

SILC on the other hand was designed to be secure and has all secure functionality one might expect from such a service:
  • Like GPG, finger prints can be employed to verify a person's identity

  • No insecure communication anywhere between clients: for instance the sysadmins have no way to snoop in on a conversion they're not explicitly part of.



For Windows, 2 clients are available:


For Linux/BSD the following solutions exist:

  • irssi plugin: A plugin for the popular irc client irssi so that it also supports SILC

Mac OS X

Mac OS X has the following clients:


Some quick pointers on how to use silc:
  • start silc

  • type /server

  • type /list for the channel list

  • type /join channelname to join a channel. Note you dont need a # like in IRC


Several public servers exist as well as a server hosted by an indymedia collective

-- ZaPata - Updated stuff and copied information from the german page 07 Oct 2006

-- WilliamPitcock - Silky isn't presently maintained it seems. 04 Jul 2007
Topic revision: r12 - 04 Jul 2007, AlsteR
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