We use cookies on our website to ensure we provide you with the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics and personalized content.This website uses cookies. More Information
It seems like your browser didn't download the required fonts. Please revise your security settings and try again.
Barracuda Email Security Gateway

Barracuda Spam Firewall User's Guide 5.x

  • Last updated on

This guide describes how you can check your quarantined messages, classify messages as spam and not spam, manage whitelisting and blocklisting email addresses, and modify your user preferences using the Barracuda Spam Firewall interface. Some features covered in this guide may not appear on your system, depending on your level of permissions as set by your administrator.

Managing Your Quarantine Inbox

Receiving Messages from the Barracuda Spam Firewall

The Barracuda Spam Firewall sends you the following two types of messages:

  • Greeting Message
  • Spam Quarantine Summary Report
Greeting Message

Depending on how the system administrator has configured the quarantine function, the Barracuda Spam Firewall will send you a greeting message with a subject line of User Quarantine Account Information when one of the following happens:

  • Your account is first created by the system administrator
  • Your account is automatically created the first time the Barracuda Spam Firewall quarantines an email intended for you

The greeting message contains the following information:

Welcome to the Barracuda Spam Firewall. This message contains the
information you will need to access your Spam Quarantine and Preferences.

Your account has been set to the following username and password:  

Username: <your email address> Password: <your default password>

Access your Spam Quarantine directly using the following link: http://<barracuda system address or name>:8000

The Barracuda Spam Firewall automatically provides your login information (username and password) and the link to access the quarantine interface. You should save this email because future messages from the system do not contain your login information.

Quarantine Summary Report

The Barracuda Spam Firewall sends you a quarantine summary report either daily, weekly, or not at all, depending on how the system administrator has configured it. This summary report enables you to view the quarantined messages you did not receive. From the quarantine summary report you can also add messages to your whitelist, delete messages, and have messages delivered to your inbox.

Note that the quarantine summary report only goes out if new quarantined mail is saved in your account since the last notification cycle. Each day the quarantine notification service runs for all users. If there is no new quarantined mail for your account since the last notification cycle, or if you have logged into your account since then, no quarantine summary report will be generated and sent to you for that same 24 hour period. Note also that links in the quarantine digest for viewing, delivering, whitelisting or deleting a message from the quarantine inbox expire in 5 days from the date the digest is sent out.

The following shows an example of a quarantine summary report:

Figure 1: Sample quarantine summary report ('digest').


Using the Quarantine Interface

At the end of every quarantine summary report is a link to the quarantine interface where you can set additional preferences and classify messages as spam and not spam.

Logging into the Quarantine Interface

To log into your quarantine interface:

  • Click the link provided at the bottom of the Quarantine Summary Report (displayed above). The login page appears.
  • Enter your username and password, and click Log In. Your login information resides in the greeting message sent to you from the Barracuda Spam Firewall.
Using your Quarantine Inbox

After logging into the quarantine interface, you'll see the QUARANTINE INBOX listing your quarantined messages. When you first start using the quarantine interface, you should view this list on a daily basis and classify as many messages as you can. Clicking on an email displays the message.

The Barracuda Spam Firewall has a Bayesian learning engine which, if enabled by your administrator, learns how to deal with future messages based on the ones you classify as spam and not spam. The learning engine becomes more effective over time as you teach the system how to classify messages and as you set up rules based on your whitelist and blocklist.

To effectively "train" your Bayesian database, you must classify at least 200 spam messages and 200 not spam messages from your Quarantine Inbox, which will train the Bayesian database as to what word or phrase patterns that appear, perhaps multiple times, throughout a message you consider to be valid content or characteristic of spam. Continue to classify an equal number of each type of message as needed.

The following table describes the actions you can perform from this page.

DeliverDelivers the selected message to your standard inbox.

Note: If you want to classify a message or add it to your whitelist, make sure to do so before delivering the message to your inbox. Once the Barracuda Spam Firewall delivers a message, it is removed from your quarantine list.


Whitelist Adds the selected message to your whitelist so all future emails from this sender are not quarantined unless the message contains a virus or banned attachment type.

The Barracuda Spam Firewall adds the sending email address exactly as it appears in the message to your personal whitelist.

Note that some commercial mailings may come from one of several servers such as mail3.abcbank.com, and a subsequent message may come from mail2.abcbank.com. See the section on managing your whitelists and blocklists for tips on specifying whitelists with greater effectiveness.


Deletes the selected message from your quarantine list. The main reason to delete messages is to help you keep track of which quarantine messages you have reviewed. You cannot recover messages you have deleted.

Classify as Not SpamClassifies the selected message as not spam. Note: Some bulk commercial email may be considered useful by some users and spam by others. For this reason, classifying such messages may not be very effective because users may counteract each others' classification. Instead of classifying bulk commercial email, it may be more effective to add it to your whitelist (if you wish to receive such messages) or blocklist (if you prefer not to receive them).
Classify as SpamClassifies the selected message as spam.
Changing Your User Preferences   

After logging into your quarantine interface, depending on your account permissions, you can use the PREFERENCES tab to change your account password, modify your quarantine and spam settings, and manage your whitelist and blocklist.

Changing Your Account Password

To change your account password, do one of the following:

  • On the quarantine interface login page, click Create New Password, or
  • After logging into your quarantine interface, go to PREFERENCES > Password. This option is not available if single sign-on has been enabled via LDAP or Radius.

In the provided fields, enter your existing password and enter your new password twice. Click Save Changes when finished.

Note Changing your password breaks the links in your existing quarantine summary reports so you cannot delete, deliver, or whitelist messages from those reports. New quarantine summary reports will contain updated links that you can use the same as before.

Changing Your Quarantine Settings

The following table describes the quarantine settings you can change from the PREFERENCES > Quarantine Settings page, depending on how the administrator has configured your account:

Quarantine SettingDescription
Enable Quarantine

Whether the Barracuda Spam Firewall quarantines your messages.

If you select Yes, the Barracuda Spam Firewall does not deliver quarantined messages to your general email inbox, but you can view these messages from the quarantine interface and quarantine summary reports.

If you select No, all messages that would have been quarantined for you are delivered to your general email inbox with the subject line prefixed with [QUAR]. The Barracuda Spam Firewall administrator can modify this prefix.

Notification IntervalThe frequency the Barracuda Spam Firewall sends you quarantine summary reports. The default is daily, with weekly and never also as options.. The Barracuda Spam Firewall only sends quarantine summary reports when one or more of your emails have been quarantined.

If you select never, you can still view your quarantined messages from the quarantine interface, but you will not receive quarantine summary reports.

Notification AddressThe email address the Barracuda Spam Firewall should use to deliver your quarantine summary report. Leave this field blank to use the email address associated with your user account.
Default Language The language in which you want to receive your quarantine notifications.

This setting also sets the default encoding for handling unknown character sets during filtering. All email notifications from the Barracuda Spam Firewall are in UTF8 encoding.

Enabling and Disabling Spam Scanning of your Email

If you do not want the Barracuda Spam Firewall scanning your emails for spam content, you can disable spam filtering from the PREFERENCES > Spam Settings page. From this page you can also change the default spam scoring levels that determine when your emails are tagged, quarantined or blocked.

When the Barracuda Spam Firewall receives an email for you, it scores the message for its spam probability. This score ranges from 0 (definitely not spam) to 10 or higher (definitely spam). Based on this score, the Barracuda Spam Firewall either allows, quarantines, or blocks the message.

A setting of 10 for any setting disables that option. The following table describes the fields on the PREFERENCES > Spam Settings page.

Spam Scoring Enable/Disable
  • Enable Spam Scoring: Select Yes for the Barracuda Spam Firewall to scan your emails for spam. Select No to have all your messages delivered to you without being scanned for spam.
Spam Scoring
  • Use Domain Defaults: Select Yes to use the default scoring levels. To configure the scoring levels yourself, select No and make the desired changes in the Spam Scoring Levels section described below.
  • Block: Messages with a score above this threshold are not delivered to your inbox. Depending on how the system is configured, the Barracuda Spam Firewall may notify you and the sender that a blocked message could not be delivered. The default value is 9.
  • Quarantine: Messages with a score above this threshold, but below the block threshold, are forwarded to your quarantine mailbox. The default setting is 10 (quarantine disabled). To enable the quarantine feature, this setting must have a value lower than the block threshold.
  • Tag: Messages with a score above this threshold, but below the quarantine threshold, are delivered to you with the word [BULK] added to the subject line. Any message with a score below this setting is automatically allowed. The default value is 3.5.
Barracuda Bayesian Learning
  • Reset Personal Bayesian Database:

    Click Reset to remove your Bayesian rules learned by the Barracuda Spam Firewall from the point of installation. Use the Reset button on a regular basis to clear out old classifications of valid email versus spam to account for the fact that spam tactics change rapidly and the word and phrase patterns that appear in spam messages tend to change over time.

    Thus, by resetting your Bayesian database regularly and classifying 200 spam and not spam messages anew, you'll keep your Bayesian database refreshed such that it has the best chance of identifying spam with a very high level of accuracy.

Bayesian Database Backup
  • Back Up Bayesian Database: Click Backup to download a copy of your Bayesian database to your local system. This backup copy can then be uploaded to any Barracuda Spam Firewall, including this one, in the case of a corrupt Bayesian installation.
  • Restore Database: Click Browse to select the backup file containing your Bayesian database, and then click Upload Now to load the Bayesian settings to this Barracuda Spam Firewall. The backup file does not need to have originated from this Barracuda Spam Firewall, nor from the same user database.

Adding Email Addresses and Domains to Your Whitelist and Blocklist

  The PREFERENCES > Whitelist/Blocklist page lets you specify email addresses and domains from which you do or do not want to receive emails.

List TypeDescription
WhitelistThe list of email addresses or domains from which you always wish to receive

messages. The only time the Barracuda Spam Firewall blocks a message from someone on your whitelist is when the message contains a virus or a disallowed attachment file extension.

BlocklistThe list of senders from whom you never want to receive messages. The Barracuda Spam Firewall immediately discards messages from senders on your blocklist. These messages are not tagged or quarantined and cannot be recovered.

The sender does not receive a notice that the message was deleted, and neither do you. The only time a blocklisted email address is delivered is if the same email address also appears in your whitelist.

To whitelist senders or to add senders to your blocklist, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the PREFERENCES > Whitelist/Blocklist page.
  2. A list of your existing whitelisted and blocklisted addresses appears on this page.
  3. To delete a whitelist or a blocklist entry, click the trash can icon next to the address.
  4. To add an entry, type an email address into the appropriate field and click the Add button.

Tips on specifying addresses

When adding addresses to your whitelist and blocklist, note the following tips:

  • If you enter a full email address, such as johndoe@yahoo.com, just that user is specified. If you enter just a domain, such as yahoo.com, all users in that domain are specified.
    If you enter a domain such as barracudanetworks.com, all subdomains are also included, such as support.barracudanetworks.com and test.barracudanetworks.com.
  • Mass mailings often come from domains that do not resemble the company's website name. For example, you may want to receive mailings from historybookclub.com, but you will find that this site sends out its mailing from the domain hbcfyi.com. Examine the From: address of an actual mailing that you are trying to whitelist or blocklist to determine what to enter.

Changing the Language of the Quarantine Interface

You can change the language of your quarantine interface by selecting a language from the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the QUARANTINE INBOX and PREFERENCES tabs. Supported languages include Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and others. The language you select is only applied to your individual quarantine interface. No other user's interface is affected.

Using Microsoft Outlook and IBM Notes to Classify Messages

Instead of using your quarantine inbox to classify your email messages, you can download a client add-in that lets you classify messages from your Microsoft Outlook or IBM Notes application. Your Barracuda Spam Firewall administrator may chose not to make this add-in available.

If this is the case, you need to use your quarantine inbox to classify your messages.

Downloading the Client Add-in

To download the client add-in that is needed to classify messages from Microsoft Outlook or IBM Notes, go to the login page of the administration interface and click the link below the login information, as shown in the following figure:


If this link does not appear, then your Barracuda Spam Firewall administrator has configured the system to not make the add-in available and the next section will not apply to your configuration.

Using the Microsoft Outlook and IBM Notes Add-ins

After downloading and installing the add-in, you can begin classifying messages using the Mark as Spam and Mark as Not Spam icons in your Microsoft Outlook or IBM Notes client. These icons are located in the upper right of your email client if the add-in has been installed. Highlight one or more messages in your email client and click Mark as Spam if you think these messages are spam and should not have been delivered to your inbox. Do the same for messages which are NOT spam, using the Mark as Spam icon, for good messages. This will train your Bayesian database on the Barracuda Spam Firewall so it will become an 'expert' at what you do or do not consider to be spam.


The Microsoft Outlook and IBM Notes add-ins are configured to automatically:

  • Whitelist email addresses associated with sent messages and new contacts
  • Move messages you mark as Spam to the Deleted Items folder in your mail client
  • Whitelist the 'From:' email address within messages you mark as Not-Spam.

The Outlook Add-in also provides optional message Encryption. With the Barracuda Spam Firewall 5.1 or later, choose to encrypt any outbound message by clicking the Encrypt Message button that appears in the Outlook New Message window when the add-in is installed.


You can change the default behavior of the Outlook Add-in by going to the Tools menu in your Microsoft Outlook client and selecting Options | Spam Firewall tab.


Last updated on