Perhaps because of abuse or other factors, such as the desire to authenticate users based on their Microsoft Passport, Microsoft implemented Gate Keeper and Gate Keeper Passport, and integrated both into their chat control.
The weakness of Gate Keeper and the fact the early MSN Chat Controls (1.0−3.0) had public functions for doing Gate Keeper authentication seemed to indicate Microsoft wanted third parties to be able to access their network as before, but they wanted to be able to control automated abuse.
Most of the methods were through the use of the MSN Chat Control itself, yet others were more complicated.
In the beginning, shortly after the move from Microsoft Chat, the MSN Chat Network could be directly connected to through any IRC Client to com on port 6667.
The versions of MSN Chat were designed from IRC3 through to IRC8, Even with the newer versions, MSN Chat still had the possibility to replicate older MSN Chat versions by issuing the IRCVERS command.
It is believed that IRC referred to the original IRC Daemon, and IRC2 referred to IRCX.
The second change was the major part, allowing the Chat Control to bridge the connections between the Client and MSN Chat Service.
It was widely believed that it was only used by MSN Chat staff to authenticate, and that they authenticated through Microsoft's Active Directory, either because they were connected directly to Microsoft's network, or because they were connecting via a virtual private network (VPN).The use of third-party applications on the MSN Chat Network was not prohibited, although it was unsupported.Third-party applications were required to use the same Authentication Methods as the MSN Chat Control.These simulation chat networks are often referred to as "MSN Chat Clones".These are generally small chat networks, which often rely on home-made IRC servers, or IRCX servers.In any event, these public functions allowed normal IRC clients to authorize themselves.With the release of the MSN Chat Control 4.0, the public functions were removed.Gate Keeper is a SASL authentication type and is used by the MSN Chat control as a means of Authentication between the MSN Chat Control and the Server.As specified in the IRCX Draft, The client sends a string using the prefix "I" for initial and then the client and server will attempt to authenticate.Many of the "MSN Chat Clones" are non-compliant and do not follow the RFC 1459 (IRC) or the "e Xtensions to Internet Relay Chat" (IRCX) standards and often contain many bugs/exploits that may cause a denial of service with the MSN Chat Control.Many of the MSN Chat Clones started up directly after MSN closed its services (2006), and additional networks have continued to spring up since then.