This Quicknote is intended for current faculty, staff, and students who would like to know more about Barracuda.
To follow this Quicknote you will need to have access to the internet. You will also need to have a current affiliation with the University and have access to your UM-Flint computing account.
The purpose of this Quicknote is to explain how the email that originates from outside the University is processed, and to describe the tools that you can use to manage your personal spam quarantine.
To protect UM-Flint from virus attacks and to protect you from receiving hundreds of spam messages, all incoming email is filtered by the Barracuda Messaging Security Gateway – an anti-spam and anti-virus product. Outgoing mail is also filtered for spam content to limit the damage from a compromised account. For more information about the Barracuda Messaging Security Gateway, you can visit Barracuda website at www.Barracuda.com.
How does email filtering work?
All incoming (and outgoing) email is filtered by the Barracuda Email Security Gateway. Depending upon Barracuda Email Security Gateway rules and policies, messages that contain viruses, spam, or inappropriate content can either be deleted or scored. In the case of spam, the message score indicates the probability that the message is spam. A message scoring 10 would have 100% chance of being spam (definite spam) and a message scoring 0 would have 0% chance of being spam (legitimate correspondence). Messages scoring high enough are quarantined and messages scoring below 4 are sent directly to your inbox.
What is the Quarantine?
The Quarantine is a location on a server where email messages that are suspected to be spam are stored temporarily so that they can be reviewed and retrieved if necessary. System administrators have the ability to search for messages on a user's behalf. You may also review and take action on your own quarantined email through the use of the Spam Quarantine Summary available at https://barracuda2.umflint.edu. Messages that are not released from the Quarantine are automatically deleted after two weeks.
What is a Quarantine Summary?
If email messages addressed to you were sent to the Quarantine, you will receive an email notification called a Spam Quarantine Summary (or Summary) in your mailbox. The Quarantine Summary provides you with a list of the messages addressed to you that are stored in the Quarantine. You can look at the message subject headers to determine their content and decide what actions you want to apply to the messages.
Spam Quarantine Summaries are sent once a week by the system, usually on Friday. If no new mail is quarantined no summary will be sent. If you would like to see any messages being held by the system, you may do so by visiting https://barracuda2.umflint.edu.
How do I use the Quarantine Summary?
The Quarantine Summary will provide you with a list of all of the spam that has been quarantined for your account since you received the last Quarantine Summary update.
You will see two lists, one of the newly received messages, and ones of previously received messages. These messages have columns that indicate the sender and subject for each email.
For the quarantined messages you will have four separate links available to you to complete an action on each email message:
- View - Opens the message in the Barracuda web application to be looked at.
- Deliver - Releases the email to your inbox.
- Whitelist - Releases the email to your inbox, and puts the sender on your Whitelist.
- Delete - Removes the email from your Quarantine Inbox.
Other links in the Summary provide additional functionality. These links are not related to individual quarantined messages. The following links provide additional Summary management:
- Delete all Displayed Emails - Removes all emails from your quarantine.
- Manage your allowed/blocked list - Brings up the Whitelist/Blocklist page in Barracuda.
- Set quarantine notification intervals - Brings up the Quarantine Settings page in Barracuda.
- View your entire Quarantine Inbox or manage your preferences - Brings up the Quarantine Inbox main page in Barracuda.
Email sent from addresses or domains on the Whitelist will not be filtered for spam but will be filtered for viruses.
Email sent from addresses or domains on the blocklist will automatically be discarded so that you will not receive future emails from them.
Note: if a spam message does make it through to your inbox, you should not add that email address to your blocklist since spammers rarely use the same email address twice.
How do I delete my messages in the Quarantine?
There is no need to delete your messages in the Quarantine. If you do not release a message from the Quarantine, it will automatically be deleted after 7 days. If you look at the messages in your Summary and determine that all of them are spam, you do not need to do anything. The messages will automatically be deleted from the Quarantine.
What are a Whitelist and Blocklist?
There are two types of Whitelist: the Global Whitelist and your personal Whitelist. Both are simply lists of legitimate senders of email. The email administrator controls the Global Whitelist, which applies to everyone in the organization. You control your personal Whitelist in which you can add the addresses of people, organizations, and mailing lists from which you do want to receive mail. If a sender's address is included in the Whitelist, the Barracuda Email Security Gateway does not filter the message for spam. (However, it still filters the message for any viruses or malware URLs.) There is also a Global Blocklist and a Personal Blocklist. These lists contain addresses of people, organizations, and mailing lists from which you do not want to receive "junk email."
What is a false positive?
A false positive is an email incorrectly identified as spam. If an email message is scored as spam and sent to the Quarantine, but it really is a legitimate message from a legitimate sender, you can whitelist the sender, or deliver the message to your inbox.
What is a false negative?
A false negative is an email incorrectly identified as not spam. An email message that is incorrectly delivered to your mailbox because it was not identified as spam can be reported as a false negative. Spammers are very clever and are always seeking ways to trick products like the Barracuda Email Security Gateway into delivering spam to your mailbox. Barracuda sends frequent updates to our organization in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the spammers.
What is an SPF failure?
Sometimes emails from a domain are not blocked due to spam content or blocklists, but rather due to a security feature, remote domains enable. In order to protect users from domain spoofing a DNS text file, a standard was created called a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record. The owner of a domain specifies what IP addresses in their domain belong to their mail servers. When we receive an email our spam filter checks the domain to see if the IP address the message came from matches one on the list. If it does not, the spam filter flags it. One of two things happens at that point. If the domain owner has set the "Hard Fail" option, it indicates that everyone in the world should reject email messages that don't come from their IP addresses. The second option is a "Soft Fail" which means they didn't specify what to do with messages that did not come from their IP addresses. It is up to the receiving spam filter to determine what to do with those messages. In our case, we have set our spam filters to Quarantine messages that are flagged as Soft Fails. If you have several email servers in a pool, sometimes your messages come from the IP addresses that match the SPF record and are allowed through. Other times the messages come from an IP address not on their list so it gets blocked.
Unfortunately, we are limited in our ability to remediate these situations. The owners of the remote domain need to update their DNS records with the correct information. If you have contact information for the person sending you email we can forward them a copy of this information so that their IT team can make the changes. If you have no contact information for the company we can attempt to find a contact through public information on their site.
What is a spam policy?
Spam policies determine how the spam sent to you will be processed. For example, your spam could be turned off and your messages would simply be delivered to your email.
What is the Web Application?
The Web Application allows you to view your quarantined messages and manage your account using a web browser. Instead of waiting for a summary in your inbox, you can log in anytime to your account and release messages from the Quarantine, manage your profile settings, or manage your Whitelist and Blocklist. To access the web application, you will type https://barracuda2.umflint.edu into a browser. You will be required to provide your uniqname and current password to access your profile and your quarantined messages. This is the same login and password that you use for logging into your email.
Your view of the Web Application
The first view you see is your Quarantine Inbox. The top of the page displays the Quarantine Inbox and Preferences tab:
- Quarantine Inbox - This is where you will view and make edits to the emails that go through the filter.
- Preferences - this is where you will edit your whitelist/blocklist, Quarantine Settings, and Spam settings
This page displays messages addressed to you that were classified as spam and are sitting in the Quarantine. You can apply a few different actions to the messages on this page. To select one or more messages, select the checkbox next to the message before you apply the action. You can either apply these changes to the group of emails you've selected or the individual email
- Deliver - releases the email to your inbox.
- Whitelist - Puts the sender on the Whitelist.
- Delete - removes the email from your Quarantine Inbox.
Here you also have the option of searching your inbox based on filtered results. You can search, using the drop-down arrow, by whether the "From", "Subject", and/or "Message" field contains, or doesn't contain, any specific wording in an email.
On this page, you will be able to edit your personal settings.
- Whitelist/Blocklist - here you can add emails to your Whitelist or Blocked email (Blocklist).
- Quarantine Settings - here you will see a variety of options related to your Quarantine Summary
- Quarantine Enable/Disable - will allow you to turn on/off your filter preventing the quarantined emails from reaching your inbox.
- Quarantine Notification - will allow you to set a notification interval and email to send the summaries to.
- Default Language - will allow you to select your default language.
- Spam Settings - allows you to change whether or not your email will score spam messages that you receive.
If you have any questions or issues with our Barracuda services outlined within this Quicknote, please contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.
Locations: 206 Murchie Science Building or 3174 William S. White Building
Phone#: (810) 762-3123 (Option 1)