A cloak is an alternative name for a vHost (virtual host).
On DomIRC, you can find three types of vHosts: the user cloaks, the group cloaks and the gateway cloaks.
To request a cloak, please ask in #domirc or see the /msg HelpServ help request command if you prefer the private way.
Each cloak you can see on the network is unique, so you can safely use them to target only one person.
Bot cloaks are considered as user cloaks or group cloaks.

User Cloaks

By default, when you connect to DomIRC, your hostname is publicly displayed whenever someone performs a /whois on you.
It can also be seen when you join/part a channel or quit the network, and IRC bots are usually keeping it for various reasons.
If you have an account (see registering an account), you can request a user cloak to change your displayed hostname.
Your account name must only contain letters, numbers and hyphens. Special characters are not allowed.

A user cloak has the appearance of user/<account name>, where <account name> is replaced with the user’s account name.
A bot cloak has the appearance of user/<account name>/bot/<bot account name> and needs to be on a separate account.
You can request a bot cloak only if yourself are already cloaked.

Please note that you will not be able to change your account name after being cloaked, so choose it carefully.
If you want to change your account name before getting a cloak, see the /msg NickServ help set accountname command.

You should also read the security considerations before requesting a cloak, as they do not guarantee your privacy.

Group Cloaks

A group cloak is a cloak that can only be requested by the founders of any primary channel.
A primary channel begins by a single #. Cloak requests are accepted per staffer discretion.

Topical channels can also make cloak requests if they have the HOLD flag (given by the network staff).
You can check a channel’s hold status by using ChanServ’s INFO command (/msg ChanServ help info).

A group cloak has the appearance of <channel>/<whatever>, where <channel> is replaced with
the channel name, except for topical channels which are prefixed by the about/ indication, and
<whatever> is replaced with whatever is requested by the founder as long as the cloak remains unique.

If your channel is a domain name channel, you can also request cloaks that look like subdomains.
Those cloaks can use both dot separation and slash separation, like any URL you can find on the net.
It should be allowed as long as it does not contain any mean word and is entirely unique.
If your domain name itself contains insults or mean words, you will not be able to request any cloak for it.

A bot cloak has no specific appearance and must also be requested by the founders.

Please note that you will not be able to change your account name only if it is contained in your cloak.

Gateway Cloaks

A gateway cloak is a cloak prefixed by the gateway/ indication.
Those are automatically applied when you connect from a registered provider.
You can override a gateway cloak if you use a cloaked account.

A nat cloak is considered as a gateway cloak and has the same properties.
Those are automatically applied when you connect from some places with an extended connection limit.

Security Considerations

A cloak, no matter the one we are talking about, will never protect nor hide your IP address properly.
Anyone with enough knowledge about IRC knows (or should know) that, and some people know how to pretty easily
get your IP (you can find tutorials yourself) as a /whois is not the only means to get someone’s informations.

So, having a cloak on DomIRC only allows you to display something else in whois requests
and not having your IP address in everyone’s logs, as some channels might publish them.

Those are useful to target a single user, especially in bans or various bots’ access lists.
Beside that, a group cloak is also meant to show your affiliation with a specific group.