Why Slack?

At the 2015 RuCTF, we used misecredteam.slack.com to transfer notes and share files. For those that don’t know about Slack, it’s a modern chat client. While it may be just another messaging app to some people. I’ve used it through college, at work, and for groups like #misec and lansing.codes. There’s been talk about trying to get an official #misec slack channel.

During the November Lansing social, we did just that and misecgroup.slack.com was created. Later that night I found a project on Github that had a “push button” solution for creating a auto-invite application on heroku.com. Shortly after setting that up, I was able to tweet out the URL and people starting joining the new channel. If you’d like to set up a similar invitation application, then read the Github description and press either the Heroku or Azure deploy buttons based on what service you want to use to deploy the application.

How it works

The app works great. Heroku even took care of a lot of the hosting details, like handling TLS. Within a day, the channel had 30 members and I didn’t have to manually invite anyone. The only change I made to the app was cosmetic. I didn’t like the gradient background so I replaced it with a more “cyber” background. In order to change the application, I had to fork the github repository and connect it to my Heroku app. I used git and the Heroku CLI to do the heavy lifting. To change the background I simply replaced the bg.jpg in the images directory and redeployed the app.

IRC or death

A lot of #misec members prefer to stay on IRC. In an attempt to accommodate their preferences, I opened an IRC gateway to connect to the channel from their favorite IRC client. However that still requires to be on the #misec IRC channel and the irc channel for #misec slack… The only thing more annoying than having to be in multiple chats is being in multiple chats for the same reason.

So I found an alternative with the help of some#misec friends. Another Github project called slack-irc.  The bot uses nodeJS to run, so hopefully anyone attempting this themselves have some experience with npm. Slack-irc made it possible to set up a slack bot that integrates with another IRC channel. So now #misec is in misec.slack.com’s #general channel and vice versa.

Demo from GitHub, show's how it looks for each client.
Demo from GitHub, show’s how it looks for each client.

Becoming a Slacker

If you’re interested in joining the #misec slack channel, follow the steps below:

  1. Get an invite by going to misec.herokuapp.com and entering your email address you’d like to use for the account
  2. Finish creating an account for the channel
    (Please note the team URL is misec.slack.com)
  3. Sign in from a Slack application on whatever device you prefer if you don’t want to use the web client.
  4. Optional: Go to https://misec.slack.com/account/gateways for instructions on connecting over IRC

Due to someone’s misuse of the herokuapp integration, we have had too many invites created and many of the attempts are bouncing. Below are some screenshots from our slack administration panel.


Unfortunately, we can only manually remove these old invites one by one. So we have resorted to shutting down the integration and relying on direct invitations from existing members. Any member of our slack channel can invite new users. Please find someone on twitter with #misec in their bio or past tweets and I’m sure they’ll help you get into slack.

2 Responses

  1. When I enter my email address, I get the response “Failed! Something has gone wrong. Please contact a system administrator.”

    1. This is correct! We had to remove the herokuapp integration because the bot was spamming out invites to invalid emails. We will work update this page and get you an invite from one of our admins. Thank you for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *