Check IP address blacklist status in Bash

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Here is a Linux Bash shell script to check whether an IP address is listed in a DNSBL blacklist, or RBL. This is a modified version of a by J65nko posted Bash script to check an IP address reputation status in several blacklists. I’ve added HttpBl as backlist and an API key is required for this list. Using this script in Bash you can quickly test if an IP address is blacklisted.

Bash blacklist check code #

Save the following shell code into a newly created file called blcheck (for example). The Bash code is easy to understand and speaks for itself. Here you have your own blacklist RBL checker Linux shell script:


Looking for a PowerShell blacklist check script? See my post PowerShell blacklist check script: find an IP address' blacklist status & reputation

# Check if an IP address is listed on one of the 
# following blacklists. The format is chosen to 
# make it easy to add or delete. The shell script
# will strip multiple white spaces.

# register at to
# obtain an API-key
# simple shell function to show an error message and exit
#  $0  : the name of shell script, $1 is the string passed as argument
#  >&2  : redirect/send the message to stderr
  echo $0 ERROR: $1 >&2
  exit 2

# -- Sanity check on parameters
[ $# -ne 1 ] && ERROR 'Please specify a single IP address'
# -- if the address consists of 4 groups of minimal 1, maximal digits,
#    separated by '.'
# -- reverse the order
# -- if the address does not match these criteria the variable
#    'reverse will be empty'
reverse=$(echo $1 |
  # on one line!
  sed -ne "s~^([0-9]{1,3}).([0-9]{1,3}).([0-9]{1,3}).
if [ "x${reverse}" = "x" ] ; then
      ERROR  "IMHO '$1' doesn't look like a valid IP address"
      exit 1

# Assuming an IP address of as parameter or argument
# If the IP address in $0 passes our crude regular expression
# check, the variable  ${reverse} will contain
# In this case the test will be:
#   [ "x44.33.22.11" = "x" ]
# This test will fail and the program will continue
# An empty '${reverse}' means that shell argument $1 doesn't pass our
# simple IP address check. In that case the test will be:
#   [ "x" = "x" ]
# This evaluates to true, so the script will call the ERROR function
# and quit
# -- do a reverse ( address -> name) DNS lookup
REVERSE_DNS=$(dig +short -x $1)
echo IP $1 NAME ${REVERSE_DNS:----}

# -- cycle through all the blacklists
for BL in ${BLISTS} ; do
    # print the UTC date (without linefeed)
    printf $(env TZ=UTC date "+%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S")
    # show the reversed IP and append the name of the blacklist
    if [ "$BL" == "" ];
      printf "%-50s" " ${HTTPbl_API_KEY}.${reverse}.${BL}."
      printf "%-50s" " ${reverse}.${BL}."
    # use dig to lookup the name in the blacklist
    # echo "$(dig +short -t a ${reverse}.${BL}. |  tr 'n' ' ')"
    if [ "$BL" == "" ];
      LISTED="$(dig +short -t a ${HTTPbl_API_KEY}.${reverse}.${BL}.)"
      echo ${LISTED:----}
      LISTED="$(dig +short -t a ${reverse}.${BL}.)"
      echo ${LISTED:----}
# --- EOT ------

Save the file (in vi: :wq) and give it execute permissions: chmod u+x blcheck.

Script usage #

To look up an IP address to see if it’s blacklisted, use the blcheck script on your Bash command line prompt:


Or input taken from a text file:

for address in `cat blacklist.txt`;
   do ./blcheck $address;
   sleep 2;

The result is for example:

$ ./blcheck
2011-10-14_10:00:24 [your_api_key]     ---
2011-10-14_10:00:24                   ---
2011-10-14_10:00:24                    ---
2011-10-14_10:00:24                ---
$ ./blcheck
2011-10-14_10:01:39 [your_api_key]
2011-10-14_10:01:39                 ---

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One Reply to “Check IP address blacklist status in Bash”

  1. I like your script very much, with the sed line it did not work, but I used the sentence from the original script.
    Perhaps there is a possibility to only show line that are “blacklisted” instead of all, this could be handy when us use more then 5 blacklisted servers.

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