Does anyone currently use a Barracuda Firewall without the Energize updates? Does it take any hacks to do so and if it does, has anyone had any luck modifying a Barracuda firewall so that they could use it without requiring the updates?
I can pick up a used Barracuda for relatively cheap but the annual updates are $400+ just to be able to download their spam list updates. For a very small network, that's a lot. It's my understanding that 90% of the spam is filtered by other methods before it even gets to the point of using the updates Barracuda provides. (See the 12 layers of defense for the Barracuda here: http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/technology/anti-spam-tech.php
I'm not asking this question because I want to get one over on Barracuda Networks. I am a network consultant and I have been looking into building an anti-spam appliance solution and it seems going the Linux route using Spam Assassin is the most reliable and maybe cost effective. I don't have much Linux knowledge though and to save a lot of time I don't have in learning and setting up a computer with Linux and all the other components to make it a good appliance, it seems easier to just purchase an appliance second-hand that already fits the bill and start from there. Since the Barracuda uses Linux and other open license software, modifying it to fit my needs if necessary shouldn't be an issue (see Linksys vs. Linux). Really, I just want to know if it's useable and effective without the expensive Energize updates or if it can be pointed elsewhere to get other blacklist and fingerprint lists. Does anyone here have enough experience with it or playing with it's configuration to shed some light? Thanks in advance.