Thursday, April 15, 2010 is a scam

Barracuda ... The mere mention of their name strikes fear in the hearts of any email admin unlucky enough to have to do relay mail through one of their devices.

One of my customers today submitted a ticket with problems relaying mail to one of their customers using a Barracuda device. My customer's relay responds with this message:

#554 Service unavailable; Client host [XXXXXXXXXX.XXXXXXX.XXX] blocked using Barracuda Reputation; ##

Ah, yes, the Barracuda Black List. Clicking on the link they provide takes you do a page where they tell you, "Sorry, your email was blocked....Barracuda Networks is not attempting to block your individual emails in particular. The repuation systemed uses automated algorithms for determining its results -- very similar to the anti-fraud mechanisms used for credit cards."

Yeah, whatever. You can put any IP address in the URL, and it will give you the same message for each one. It's a generic page they use to try to get you to buy into their scam.

Clicking on the "Click here to register your domain" link and you have the ability to sign up and register your domains. Sounds great, right? Except for the $20 USD fee per domain registered.

For a while, Barracuda Networks denied that they had anything to do with and said that they only used the list provided there to help determine what mail was spam. And, if you queried for the WHOIS information, it's obscured, so it's hard to know:

Domain ID:D152388600-LROR
Created On:12-Apr-2008 21:40:49 UTC
Last Updated On:14-Mar-2010 12:46:16 UTC
Expiration Date:12-Apr-2011 21:40:49 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
Registrant ID:77b4c5687ae40560
Registrant Name:Whois Agent
Registrant Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Registrant Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Bellevue
Registrant State/Province:WA
Registrant Postal Code:98007
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.4252740657
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Admin ID:77b4c5687ae40560
Admin Name:Whois Agent
Admin Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Admin Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Admin Street2:
Admin Street3:
Admin City:Bellevue
Admin State/Province:WA
Admin Postal Code:98007
Admin Country:US
Admin Phone:+1.4252740657
Admin Phone Ext.:
Admin FAX:
Admin FAX Ext.:
Tech ID:77b4c5687ae40560
Tech Name:Whois Agent
Tech Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Tech Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Tech Street2:
Tech Street3:
Tech City:Bellevue
Tech State/Province:WA
Tech Postal Code:98007
Tech Country:US
Tech Phone:+1.4252740657
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX:
Tech FAX Ext.:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:
Name Server:

But alas, IP address information is not hidden from ARIN:

Network Information for:

OrgName: Barracuda Networks, Inc.
Address: 3175 S. Winchester Blvd
City: Campbell
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 95008
Country: US

NetRange: -
OriginAS: AS15324
NetHandle: NET-64-235-144-0-1
Parent: NET-64-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS1.P23.DYNECT.NET
NameServer: NS2.P23.DYNECT.NET
NameServer: NS3.P23.DYNECT.NET
NameServer: NS4.P23.DYNECT.NET
RegDate: 2006-10-31
Updated: 2010-03-04

RAbuseHandle: BARRA1-ARIN
RAbuseName: Barracuda Hostmaster
RAbusePhone: +1-408-342-5400

RNOCName: Barracuda Hostmaster
RNOCPhone: +1-408-342-5400

RTechHandle: BARRA1-ARIN
RTechName: Barracuda Hostmaster
RTechPhone: +1-408-342-5400

OrgTechHandle: BARRA1-ARIN
OrgTechName: Barracuda Hostmaster
OrgTechPhone: +1-408-342-5400

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2010-04-14 20:00
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.
# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at

Sneaky. But, that's the way Barracuda is.

Thankfully, there's another way, although Barracuda devices may or may not look at it (I've not confirmed it either way). The method is called Sender Policy Framework, and it's free. The Sender Policy Framework relies on a DNS record to check which hosts are "permitted" to send email for a particular domain. Check out for a wizard to help create your SPF record.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Windows 2008 Hyper-V R2 Background Merge

When you remove a snapshot or snapshot subtree from a Hyper-V VM, there is a merge process that combines the data in the .avhd snapshot file back into the VM's VHD.

In Windows 2008 RTM, the merge process only happened once the virtual machine was shut down. The VM was unavailable for the duration of this process. There was, however, a progress bar displayed in either SCVMM or Hyper-V Manager that would indicate the completion percentage.

In Windows 2008 R2, however, the merge process happens in the background. Any indication of it happening is no longer easily visible in the console.

To view the progress of a merge, run the following PowerShell command:

Get-WmiObject -Namespace "root\virtualization" -Query "select * from Msvm_ConcreteJob" | Where {$_.ElementName -eq 'Merge in Progress'}

This will give you output about all merges happening, the elasped time (in seconds, so be prepared to do some math), as well as the job completion percentage.