Kulstad of the Justice Department declined to comment on its specific contacts with the I.
developers and administrators said that they were contacted by federal law enforcement officials fairly often. Bierman said that he sometimes cooperated in helping the government track down specific people using I. Once logged in to a public server, the user can generate a list of thousands of available channels. Naturally, that file-transfer capability also has a lot of less legitimate uses. Hackers scan through millions of possible Internet addresses looking for those unprotected computers and then use them to initiate coordinated ''denial of service'' attacks, which flood the target machine (say, a Web site) with thousands or millions of spurious requests. clients available, but perhaps the most popular is a Windows shareware program known as m IRC (com). Alternately, if users know the Internet address of a private server, they can type in that address. Users' vulnerability can be compounded if they have not installed the latest patches from Microsoft. Particularly wary users can try to hide their identity by logging in to I. '' As more and more people get broadband, they are moving away from AOL and they still want to have chat.'' For end users, using I.
has its advocates, who point to its legitimate uses.'' I. Bierman, a college student in Hawaii who helps develop I.