Over 300 millions of spam emails are filtered out by the Barracuda blacklist on an average 24-hour basis. As present-day spammers get more and more creative and elaborate with their fraudulent schemes, Barracuda Networks aims to fight hard and win this battle of legit vs. illegitimate emails sent globally.
Barracuda spam list is a real-time database of most IPs and domains that have been flagged as unreliable. The fact that the system exploits various spam detection methods, including but not limited to automated systems, real-time tracking, and client feedback, makes it one of the top-notch sources to refer to when needed.
Today, we'll dive deeper into the world of Barracuda blacklisting to help you detect the pressing issue, fix it and prevent future mishaps. Mind you, the reasons why you should treat the matter seriously include:
- Potential email deliverability decrease
- Email sender reputation drop
- Security risks spike
- Business continuity disruption
- Email compliance questions
- Dropping user engagement
Now, that we have your undivided attention, let's proceed with critical data that may save your whole marketing campaign.
The Article Walkthrough:
What is Barracuda Blacklist?
Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL) is a powerful operations center launched by Barracuda Networks in 2008. The platform's primary mission is to stop spam emails from spreading. It is presented as a comprehensive and ever-updating real-time database of either dedicated or shared IP addresses and domains that have been marked as suspicious.
The system is designed to display statistics gathered from Barracuda Networks products worldwide. A simple yet effective approach implemented into its core allows it to check a domain's reputation as well as whether you are listed on any existing "block lists."
FYI: As yet, Barracuda Blacklist is a free service, and the registration process is quite simple. So if you see Barracuda blacklist related services offered for a fee, mind that those are not officially registered sources.
If you think: "I don't send spam. I don't need all of this in-depth blocklist data", the reality is rarely that black-and-white. You may end up in the Barracuda's nets, even if you play by the rules.
How Does the Barracuda Blacklist Work?
The better you understand the Barracuda blocking algorithm, the easier it will be to avoid it or deal with it effectively when needed. Barracuda blacklist is often described as a standard Domain Name System Blocklist (DNSBL). It exploits a particular mechanism that allows it to identify and block various spam sources and malicious activity.
! Usually, when an IP is blocked, the DNSBL will respond with a 127.0.0.2 DNS A record. If the IP isn't listed as a potential spam source, the system will initiate an NXDOMAIN response.
Approximate Barracuda blacklist work process overview:
- IP/domain list creation: Barracuda Networks uses different data sources to form a database that the mechanism relies on.
- DNSBL infrastructure operation: the system is designed to handle all lookup requests against the blacklist.
- DNS query: a receiving server sends a DNS query to check the reputation of the source IP address or domain.
- DNSBL response: Barracuda's server shares a response containing the reputation status of the requested IP or domain.
- Email server action: based on Barracuda's response, the server decides whether to deliver, reject or quarantine the message.
- List updates: the database is updated regularly through constant email traffic, security trends, and user reports tracking.
! Barracuda Reputation System detects spam using honeypots, special addresses created to receive only spam that does not belong to any real user, and through analysis of captive spyware protocol activity.
One of the main factors contributing to Barracuda's effectiveness is that the organization behind it (Barracuda Networks) uses various methods to identify and categorize spamming IP addresses, including:
Why Can Server IPs Be Blocked?
We've already established that even the most obedient marketers can end up trapped on the Barracuda blacklist. What may be the underlying reasons for your server IP to get blocked? According to the comprehensive list from Barracuda Central, they are the following:
- An email server is infected by a virus, which results in spam send-outs.
- Email server configurations are incorrect.
- Sending PC is infected by any harmful malware.
- A dynamic IP is used, and it's been used before for spamming purposes.
- Your mail campaign does not comply with CAN-SPAM Act.
- You use an insecure network with loopholes available for spammers to infiltrate and send spam on your behalf.
- Your recipient's Barracuda Spam Firewall is set up incorrectly.
Delisting IP Addresses from Barracuda Blocklist
Barracuda blacklist delisting isn't a very complex process, but it takes a precise approach to succeed with the process. Folderly experts have outlined all the steps to take in great detail, so you'll have no trouble dealing with the matter.
1. Check if your IP is blacklisted
Before you rush to remove your IP/domain from the spam list, you must determine that your IP/domain is actually listed. To check the Barracuda blacklist, take the following steps:
- Go to Barracuda Central
- Navigate to IP/Domain Lookup
- Enter your IP address
- Launch the Search and review the results:
1. Not listed as 'poor.'
2. Listed as 'poor.'
Make sure to check out other potential listings. You can start with the MXToolBox Blacklist tool and then double check on the main websites of all major blacklists, such as Spamhaus blacklist.
2. Address the blocklist issue
The next, quite non-obvious step for successful Barracuda blacklist removal is to identify the primary reason why you've gotten on the dark side. Often, when an email gets flagged, a corresponding notification is sent. Thus, you may want to start checking your notifications to discover the underlying cause.
On top of that, it's a good idea to carry out the following actions to be 100% sure of which issue to address in the first place:
- Review server logs: search for unusual patterns or activities and pay increased attention to outgoing traffic, error messages, and other potentially spamming signs.
- Analyze your content: look for spam trigger words, inspect subject lines, and re-evaluate the overall quality of your email content.
- Investigate complaints: if you've recently received some user spam complaints, it's high time to treat them accordingly.
- Check server security: assess the security means of your email server and try to locate any vulnerabilities. Patch those so no potential spammer can use your service for any fraudulent actions in the future.
- Check your email authentication settings: make sure that you follow the best authentication practices to prevent blacklisting.
- Verify sender reputation: check and verify your IP's rep and improve it if needed. You can resort to a reliable email deliverability test to kill two birds with one stone.
- Consult your ISP: Internet Service Providers can provide additional insight on the underlying reasons for being blacklisted by Barracuda through dedicated logs and records.
3. Request removal from the blocklist
Important! You can initiate the removal process only AFTER you've dealt with the potential underlying cause effectively.
- Access the Barracuda Central Home panel.
- Go to the Removal Request section.
- Fill out the requested fields:
• Email server IP address
• Email address
• Phone number
• Reason for removal
• Removal Requests without valid information will be ignored, so will be multiple requests.
• Removal requests are typically investigated and processed within 12 hours of submission.
- Press the Submit Request button.
4. Verify Barracuda Blacklist removal
Before you continue to follow the best email outreach trends, you must verify that your IP has been whitelisted. Otherwise, you will face the same issue of your hand-crafted emails hitting the spam folder repeatedly.
After you've waited 12 hours for your IP to be cleared out, the simplest action to clarify whether you've been delisted is to send a few emails. Then run the same Barracuda blacklist check and see if your IP remains 'poor' or 'not poor.'
Reducing Risks of Getting Onto the Barracuda Blacklist
Although Barracuda blacklist delisting is not a rocket science, it’s much better (for the sake of your email domain reputation) to implement preventive measures and avoid blacklisting.
All you have to do is to take a few proactive steps to reduce the risks of getting onto the Barracuda Blacklist:
- Implement email authentication protocols: create SPF record, check DKIM, and DMARC protocols to verify the authenticity of your emails and keep phishing and spoofing attacks at bay.
- Monitor email traffic: keep an open eye for unusual signs of spamming or other patterns that may indicate suspicious activity. Use email monitoring tools to succeed with the goal.
- Keep up with excellent sender practices:
1. Use opt-in email lists;
2. Offer a clear unsubscribe option;
3. Clean and verify your lists regularly;
4. Track email bounces and other engagement stats.
- Ensure secure email infrastructure: implement the latest and the most reliable security software for your servers and mailing systems. Carry out regular malware scans to prevent potential virus infection.
- Improve email deliverability: if you don't follow up on the best deliverability practices and your emails land in spam more often than others, the Barracuda blacklist will become suspicious.
- Check your IP reputation: use different IP monitoring tools to detect the current reputation score of your address.
- Monitor user feedback and complaint score: your clients may give you the clearest idea of what may be wrong with your emails or campaign in general. Resolve all upcoming issues and requests on time.
- Keep up with marketing trends: use the best email outreach tools to follow the latest industry guidelines, best practices, and email security trends.
Adopting these proactive measures can significantly reduce the risks of getting onto the Barracuda Blacklist or other blocklists such as the Spamhaus blacklist. Also, check our guide on how to choose the best service for email deliverability optimmization.
Conclusion: Addressing Blacklist Issues Immediately
Even the most trustworthy brands and services may end up on the Barracuda blacklist once or twice. Luckily you can remove your IP from the list in a few simple steps. Besides, if you stick to the discussed tips and guidelines, you may evade the blacklisting bullet altogether.
Keep in mind that if you postpone addressing any of the arising blacklist issues, they will have an undeniable and sometimes damaging toll on your email delivery rate, deliverability score, sender reputation, and overall brand loyalty.
Lastly, should you require any email deliverability consulting or highly professional assistance, you know where to find us!