No sooner had I posted about the abysmal 88.blacklist.zap, that I now find our mail servers at the mercy of BarracudaCentral. Yet again, here is an organization totally unwilling to work with fellow mail administrators and unresponsive to phone calls or requests for information. I have no idea how, when or why my domains have been blacklisted by these morons or what to do because of it. At least the bozos at Frontbridge actually did what they said they would and we have not had any repeat interactions with them, thankfully.
My users have recently compalined that E-mail message are not being received by our customers and suppliers. We quickly learned that it was being blocked and are getting bounce messages that state,
<email@example.com>: connect to
destination.com[yy.yyy.yy.yyy]: server refused to talk to me:
554 Service unavailable; Client host [myhost.mydomain.com] blocked using Barracuda Reputation;
We quickly checked the URL and was told that our IP reputation is listed as “poor” on the Barracuda Reputation System. The site allows administrators to request to request removal. We provided the information and got the following responses:
Thank you for submitting your request. If this is your first request, your IP address will have its reputation increased to “normal” for 48 hours while we investigate. It may take up to 1 hour for the reputation increase to propagate to all Barracuda Spam Firewalls globally. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.
It took less than a few hours before we got our second, and surprising, response from this system.
The Barracuda Spam Firewall has rules that apply to email sent from an IP address known to Barracuda Central to send spam. At this time the Barracuda Spam Firewall has the ability to decline email from these IPs. This is an option that the Administrator of the Barracuda Spam Firewall may enable. If the Administrator chooses to enable this option it may block your IP address.
This IP has been seen by Barracuda Central to transmit spam email in the last 30 days.
Unfortunately at this time we cannot unblock this IP. This decision overrides any “grace period” this IP may have been previously granted by Barracuda Central. This IP will be automatically rechecked several times each day and may be removed if the threat has declined.
So, where does that leave us? We have just told them that this was in error and they simply ignore our requests. This is not in the spirit of working together. We attempted to call their technical support and service desk, but were simply told to go back to the web site for information and that there was nothing they could do. Nothing? We asked for examples of the SPAM that we transmitted that degraded our reputation, but they refused to provide that detail. We told them that we subscribe to MxToolbox and that no other blacklisting service has listed our mail servers — they simply did not care. We asked them if careless administrators could inadvertently list our mail servers due to misinterpretation of our mail flow to our customers and suppliers — again no response. We asked about NDR’s being sent back to spammers by our mail system and we were told there was just nothing we could do. According to Barracuda Networks, it was our fault and we were expected to fix a problem we could not identify, disprove or argue against. Perhaps they are simply blacklisting sites in order to make their numbers look good about the amount of SPAM they are finding — even if it is not SPAM. How can anyone tell? They refuse to supply data to back up their claims.
This is insane! How are we to work with companies that will not provide us the information we need to fix a situation we don’t know we have? Do they really expect an enterprise to work through every message going through the mail gateways to attempt and identify if something could be misinterpreted as SPAM? Even if we found it, we still cannot inform them of this result and ask for reclassification.
Another thing on their site is subscription to EmailReg.org. This is a $20 registration fee to get your mail through these systems. One of my employees immediately suggested that this was extortion and protection money to get mail through. Seems like he is right. The only way to get your mail systems moving again is to pay someone for the privilege. Guilty until proven innocent. There ought to be a law.
As I said, this company is just like ignorant and arrogant folks at Frontbridge who are all trying to run roughshod over the E-mail community without any attempt to work within that community to improve it.
Here is another example of a company that we all need to get together and file a class action lawsuit against for interfering with our businesses and costing us substantial financial loss.