Thursday, March 27, 2008

Barracuda Spam "Firewall" Drowns in The Ping River

During the course of an average day's work, I often run across numerous IT and security products that quite frankly, belong in the garbage. When I run across these products, I often joke with my coworkers that the fix for the problem product, is to remove it and throw in the Ping River which flows right through the heart of town here. Therefore, in honor of this running joke, I have decided to start a new section on the Monkey House blog where I can draw special attention to these garbage products. I call it "Bottom of the Ping River", the only real place that these products belong. A sidebar has been added to keep a running list. Think of it as a wall of shame of sorts.

At the top of my list to toss into the river, is the Barracuda Spam "Firewall". The product in and of itself is not actually too bad. Its fairly tolerable, now ever its support team is not. Barracuda support could easily be replaced with a couple of monkeys pressing a random solution generator button. Everytime I have contacted them, it has been one random solution after another, with the most recent being instructions to rebuild the appliance! Normally I could live with a lackluster support team for a product and make every attempt to troubleshoot and resolve the issue myself. However, Barracuda does NOT allow its customers to have the root login or ssh access for the device that they paid for. Let that sink in for a second. As the author mentions in this excellent article, "I wouldn't trust everyone at Microsoft to have the only Administrator account to my Exchange server, so why would I trust Barracuda Networks to have the only root password to my SF Appliance?"

Just for kicks, I decided to open a Barracuda Support Ticket and request SSH access. Here is the response I received from the Barracuda Support Monkey:

Thank you for contacting Barracuda Networks. We can not provide you with SSH credentials. In order to have support access to any Barracuda Device you need to be a Barracuda employee or have gone through certified training to do so. The firmware and information on the Barracuda units are strictly Barracuda property. We do not allow anyone to have access unless they have gone through our Barracuda certified training and pass. If you are interested in this training and would like to know more, please contact your Barracuda Sales person.

So essentially, in order to gain access to the device we have already paid for, we must pay Barracuda FURTHER for training?? I'll pass. And for that Barracuda, you must shall now meet your ultimate demise at the Bottom of The Ping River. ....R.I.P.


***UPDATE***

Disclaimer:

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, past or present. Additionally, this blog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my own personal opinion.

Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) - so keep it polite, please.

In addition, my thoughts and opinions change from time to time. I consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind. This blog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point in time snapshot and manifestation of the various thoughts running around my brain (see banner graphic), and as such any thoughts and opinions expressed within out-of-date posts may not the same, nor even similar, to those I may hold today.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sawat Dee Krap! - (I Am Still Alive)

Sawat Deep Krap (Hello) from Thailand! I am alive and well here in Thailand. To the left, is a breathtaking view of my new home from the mountain top.

I have purposely taken a few months hiatus from blogging to settle into my new job and adjust to my new life 10,000 miles away. As of today, I plan to resume regular blogging activities. I've already got a few blogs written out on paper that I have been saving for some time now. :)

Over the next couple months, my blogs will start to examine some of the differences that exist between the security mindsets of the US and that of companies in south east Asia. The Monkey House blogs will also start to containing more view points from the system administrator and developer standpoints, as they relate to security. Think of this as more of a security view from "down in the trenches", which coincides with my new roles and responsibilities here with my new company. Stay tuned...