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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  HINFO (1)


hinfo - display (spam) host information


Configuration File
See Also


hinfo --help
hinfo --version
hinfo [-bdenstuvw] [+bdenuvw] [-f config] [-p pager]
[-s nameserver] [-t timeout]
[IP | hostname | URL]...
(See the OPTIONS section for alternate option syntax with long option names.)


Hinfo is a utility that will display information about a host. It is primarily designed to find the owner of an IP block in order to direct spam complaints to where they may do some good.

Hinfo decrypts obfuscated IPs and URLs, and will find the host portion of a URL or email address. You can feed it most forms of obfuscated addresses that I’ve seen and have it extract the IP or hostname.

Hinfo also does DNS lookups to check validity. It will alert if bogus or forged rDNS records are present.

If hinfo is given a hostname domain based blacklist checks are done if the -d option is not specified. If the rDNS isn’t forged, domain based lookups are done on it as well.

The IP is then checked with a number of IP based blackhole lists if the -b option is not specified. If the hostname has multiple IPs, all are checked.

Unless the -w option is specified, the whois database is then queried for the owner of the IP block containing this address. Most irrelevant noise is not displayed. Unfortunately, this output is non-uniformly formated and can be difficult to read.

The output is sent through the users pager by default. (Pager can be selected with the -p option, or eliminated with the -n option.) The -u option can be used for HTML formatted output. (implies -n)

Duplicate IPs or hostnames will only be processed once. This is so the high-overhead lookups are not repeated if multiple hostnames with the same IP are on the same command line.

Some optional messages are printed at higher verbosity. -vvv will select all such messages, and +vvv will turn off all such messages.

If it appears that multiple NIC handles have been returned, by default a whois query is done on the first. Use the -e option to lookup all of them, or +e to not look up any.

The -t option specified the time to wait for DNS and whois responses in seconds. It’s a compromise between how long running hinfo takes and how complete the information it displays is. The current default is 25 seconds, values 15-60 are reasonable. If you frequently get timeout messages, you may want to increase this or exclude the slow-responding DNSBL.


Most options can be given in either a long or short name form, and may preceded by + rather than - for reverse meaning.

-b or --no-blackhole Do not use blackhole lists
+b or +-no-blackhole Use blackhole lists
-d or --no-domain Do not use domain based queries
+d or +-no-domain Use domain based queries
-e or --expand-handles Expand all NIC handles
+e or +-expand-handles Do not expand any NIC handles
-f or --config-file config Read configuration options from config. If this is the first option, this will be instead of .hinforc or /etc/hinfo.conf rather than in addition to.
-h or --help Print the list of options and exit.
-n or --no-pager Do not use pager on output
-p or --pager pager Use pager rather than $PAGER
-s or --nameserver Use DNS server nameserver
-t or --timeout timeout Stop waiting for DNS and whois responses timeout seconds after the last response
-u or --html Format output as html
+u or +-html Do not format output as html
-v or --verbose request more verbose output. May be specified multiple times for additional verbosity.
+v or +-verbose Request less verbose output. May be specified multiple times for reduced verbosity.
--version Display program and configuration versions and exit
-w or --no-whois Do not do IP block lookups
+w or +-no-whois Do IP block lookups


The blackhole lists to use, information on whois servers, and the default settings of the options are configured in the file ~/.hinforc, /etc/hinfo.conf, or /usr/local/etc/hinfo.conf. (Only the first found is processed, so if you have a .hinforc, /etc/hinfo isn’t read unless you have "use ’/etc/hinfo.conf’;" in it.) It should be possible to figure it out from the supplied example, but knowing perl would be helpful. If the -f option is the first option, the file specified there is the only one processed.


Blars <>




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