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Barracuda Gets Bitten

Email was held up for a few hours today after spam firewall vendor inadvertently sent a bad virus definition

Some days really bite. Just ask Barracuda Networks Inc.

Today the spam firewall vendor's filter caught in its net a bad virus definition, which held up email to its corporate customers for several hours. Then Barracuda's Website went down, due to an unrelated (and unexpected) traffic problem.

Barracuda's spam firewall detected the faulty virus definition at 7:30 am Eastern, says Steve Pao, vice president of product management for Barracuda. The firewall then automatically queued up email as a precaution, just in time for email to peak in other parts of the world, and just as East Coast users started coming to the office. Some Barracuda customers worked around this by temporarily removing the Barracuda spam firewall and used other spam-filtering tools.

"It affected our customers who subscribe to these virus definitions, which is a significant number," Pao says.

Pau says the company issued a fix around 10:00 a.m. Eastern. But many users on the East Coast didn't get the backed-up email until the afternoon.

Adding insult to injury, the company's Website also went down today temporarily, after a free t-shirt promotion jammed its servers. Various "freebie" Websites that track everything and anything free picked up the promotion for a free Barracuda Networks t-shirt, causing a major traffic spike. "They pummeled our site," Pao says.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

About the Author(s)

Kelly Jackson Higgins, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading

Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, Virginia Business magazine, and other major media properties. Jackson Higgins was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Cybersecurity Journalists in the US, and named as one of Folio's 2019 Top Women in Media. She began her career as a sports writer in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and earned her BA at William & Mary. Follow her on Twitter @kjhiggins.

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