Re: AT&T thinks because I use IRC... I've been hacked...
Be aware that some IRC servers do port scans on users, apparently to check that the users aren't running insecure machines. Hmm. Don't know if that's legit, but some servers DO that and claim that's the reason.
Perhaps the IRC connection, plus the port scan, raised some flags at your ISP.
I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.