A Taxonomy of Internet Instant Messaging and Chat Protocols

Network chat and Instant Messaging have seen an enormous rise in popularity over the last several years. However, since many of these systems are proprietary, little has been described about the network technology behind them. This analysis helps bridge the gap by providing an overview of the system architectures, protocol specifications and available features of several network chat protocols. We present a survey of several popular systems: AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Microsoft Messenger, and Internet Relay Chat. We describe common features across these systems and highlight distinctions between them. Where possible, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, particularly with respect to security.

By: Raymond B. Jennings III; Erich M. Nahum; David P. Olshefski; Debanjan Saha; Zon-Yin Shae; Chris Waters

Published in: RC23349 in 2004


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