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; http://bbl.barracudacentral.com/q.cgi?ip=XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX ##
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 Emailreg.org 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 Emailreg.org and said that they only used the list provided there to help determine what mail was spam. And, if you queried emailreg.org for the WHOIS information, it's obscured, so it's hard to know:
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)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant Name:Whois Agent
Registrant Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Registrant Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Registrant Postal Code:98007
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Admin Name:Whois Agent
Admin Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Admin Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Admin Postal Code:98007
Admin Phone Ext.:
Admin FAX Ext.:
Tech Name:Whois Agent
Tech Organization:Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Tech Street1:PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
Tech Postal Code:98007
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX Ext.:
But alas, IP address information is not hidden from ARIN:
Network Information for: 188.8.131.52
OrgName: Barracuda Networks, Inc.
Address: 3175 S. Winchester Blvd
NetRange: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
NetType: Direct Assignment
RAbuseName: Barracuda Hostmaster
RNOCName: Barracuda Hostmaster
RTechName: Barracuda Hostmaster
OrgTechName: Barracuda Hostmaster
# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2010-04-14 20:00
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.
# available at https://www.arin.net/whois_tou.html
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 http://www.openspf.org for a wizard to help create your SPF record.