The Barracuda reputation system has more teeth than brains.

Barracuda Networks run an email reputation system that is designed to fight spam. It appears to be a largely automated system that uses it's customerbase of installed Barracuda appliances to report and rate IP addresses. Once a particular server is rated as 'poor' in the Barracuda database - many individual Barracuda appliances will reject emails from that IP address.
The delivering mailserver will receive an error message pointing to: http://bbl.barracudacentral.com/q.cgi?ip=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
This lookup system gives only a timestamp indicating when the Barracuda Reputation System listed the address. This might give the sending admin some clue as to what emails have been triggering their system - but most likely, on a busy server it will not be of that much help.

The barracuda 'overbite'

As near as I can work out - barracuda seems not to distinguish forwarded mail containing spam - from actual spam.
The distinction is important for any web-hosting company which forwards users email on to their ISP mail account.
Even if the host has good spam-filtering in place, no spam-filter is 100% effective. Some spam will be forwarded to the user's chosen destination account.
In theory - a user may even request that *all* mail for their domain, including spam, be forwarded to another mailbox where they intend to do their own spam-filtering. Is it reasonable for a barracuda system to besmirch the reputation of such a forwarder?
If barracuda had responsive support staff,a facility to determine exactly why a particular server is being rated as 'poor', and some general transparency about the mechanisms and options available for whitelisting then the occasional misclassification would be no big deal.

It's the combination of complete unresponsiveness to enquiries, with apparent misclassification that prompts me to give them my own 'reputation rating' of:
"More Teeth Than Brains".


Clearly, I'm not the only one who has found the lack of support and transparency from Barracuda networks to be very frustrating:
http://andrew.triumf.ca/barracuda-problems.html


julian vectorstream com