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ActiveX, being a Microsoft technology provided limited compatibility for other products.

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This used a randomized session key to authorize users not using the Microsoft Passport now Microsoft system. Microsoft used another SSP known as GateKeeperPassportthat worked from the same method but required certain attributes related to the user's. Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.

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Perhaps because of abuse or other factors, such as the desire to authenticate users based on their Microsoft PassportMicrosoft implemented GateKeeper and GateKeeperPassport, and integrated both into their chat control. In any event, these public functions allowed normal IRC clients to authorize themselves.

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If the control was instructed to connect to any address other than the server, it would not match the server's hash and thus authentication would fail. A few later third party clients could authenticate without the control and were adjusted to compensate for this change.

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The use of third-party applications on the MSN Chat Network was not prohibited, although it was unsupported. After the introduction of authentication on MSN Chat, Gatekeeper was the only authentication method that the public could use.

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During the initial handshake, the client would send a packet only containing the 16 byte header to the server, and the server would reply with a header, coupled with a bit Cryptographic nonce. Finally, the client would create a bit cryptographic hash of the nonce received from the server using a secret key, sending this as a subsequent authentication reply after the header, and immediately before a 16 byte GUID. Early implementations of the GateKeeper authentication mechanism did not create a barrier to entry, as the authentication API that Microsoft had created was available to other program developers.

It was quickly realised that it was also possible to connect by creating a proxy that would load the MSN Chat Control temporarily as required, relaying nonce and hashes between the server and control, before closing the chat control. The difficulty with this method is that it was often slow, didn't work, or could crash applications due to requiring the ActiveX control to be used in Microsoft Internet Explorer, or MSIE based web controls.

The python script was buggy, but was later re-written in multiple programming languages by various authors.

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When GateKeeper version 3 was introduced, it was a very minor change that had added the string of the server name as defined in the Chat Control parameter "Server" to the hash. The additional string would not include a colon or port if they were present.

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This appeared to be an effort to defeat the proxy method of accessing the service, but was quickly overcome as users shared the information that the IP had been added to the hash. This information was likely leaked from someone in Microsoft, as there were rumours of the upcoming change before the new GateKeeper version was released.

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It wasn't until around that the user JD noticed that the various keys from zmic's reverse engineering were likely derivatives of another key, and he was able to find the plain text key - before finding the algorithm used. There are still just two bytes that are unknown in the GateKeeper authentication header, however it was tested against the MSN Chat Server many times, and the server didn't appear to differentiate between the values of those two bytes.

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There's a possibility that the two bytes are random bytes of memory. NTLM credentials were not available to normal users. This was used heavily with the official chat bots, as it required no knowledge of SASL authentication mechanisms. The Passport extensions allowed the user to identify with a '.

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When a client attempted to register using a passport authentication extension, instead of receiving the usual asterisks to indicate that authentication is successful as noted in IRCX draftsthey would be presented with a further subsequent authentication command, with only the string 'OK' as a parameter. Both variables were preceded by a string representation of an 8 digit hex indicating the length of the variable, and must be presented in the correct order.

There are many chat networks attempting to simulate the service that was provided by the Microsoft Network, which use the "MSN Chat Control". While the majority of MSN Clone Chat sites are free, most of them rely on adverts to provide a small income. In addition, some of the clones have begun to charge, or allow for donations.

The Chat Control download is publicly available by Microsoft to download at [1]. There were many documented problems from users about the MSN chat function. While the idea of a supervisor would put a lot of users at ease, there were reported disagreements between the two with what was considered appropriate. Any content that was viewed as offensive or sexually explicit was immediately removed and the person who wrote it was expelled from the room.

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Asking other chatters to press certain keys, displaying any kind of URL, or displaying what location you were from were all offenses punishable by temporary banishment. The convenience of an automated system for MSN led to problems for its users, problems solvable by a person able to interpret positive and negative content. A ificant reason for MSN Chat shutting down was that it provided another opportunity for pedophiles and other sex-offenders to have access to youth through the chat rooms. InMicrosoft closed access via IRC clients including Comic Chatasking users to exclusively use their browser client instead.

InMicrosoft announced that it would close "unregulated" MSN Chat rooms in 28 countries, including "most of Asia" due to problems with spam and concerns about child pornography, with plans to convert to a subscription model for "better ability. The service closed as allegedly MSN no longer deemed it profitable to run as a subscription service. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk.

Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. MSN UK. Retrieved 29 April ZDNet Australia.

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September 29, Manchester Evening News. The Internet: The Missing Manual. O'Reilly Media, Inc. ISBN MSN Groups. Archived from the original on MSN software and services.

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