DNSExplorer Automates Enumeration of Domains and DNS Servers
DNSExplorer Automates Enumeration of Domains and DNS Servers

DNSExplorer: Automates Enumeration of Domains and DNS Servers

DNSExplorer is a shell script that automates the enumeration process of a domain or DNS server and its subdomains using ‘host’ as the main tool.

Its goal is enum the domains and subdomains using the default server in the revolv.conf file to give an overview of the DNS service.


  • OpenSSL
  • cURL
  • host (dnsutils / bind-utils)
  • ping (net-tools)

Use Cases

Ideal for RedTeam scenarios where a quick view of the internal or external DNS network landscape is required.

Use cases for DNSExplorer
Use cases for DNSExplorer

It is useful in initial and post-exploit enumeration phases on unix systems


./DNSExplorer.sh <domain.name>
Basic recon for DNSExplorer
Basic recon for DNSExplorer

The script leaves few local traces that are hardly detected. It can also be run directly from github if you have an internet connection:

wget -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dabasanta/DNSExplorer/main/DNSExplorer.sh | bash

The script saves temporary files in the /tmp/dnsexplorer/ folder which are deleted at the end of its execution, in case of a runtime error it is a good idea to delete this directory if the evidence worries you a lot.


The script has two main modes of operation, which correspond to a basic enumeration of a domain and its DNS servers in order to discover more subdomains.


After discovering the DNS servers behind a domain, the script tries to do an AXFR zone transfer on each of the servers with an NS record.

Zone transfer DNS
Zone transfer DNS

In case all servers fail and zone transfer is not possible, or DNSSec is enabled, the script will automatically switch to brute force function.


Automatic: The brute force function takes danielmiessler dictionary: bitquark-subdomains-top100000.txt And it cuts it to 1,000 records. This corresponds to the top 1,000 of the most used subdomains globally by organizations.

Custom: In case you have a custom dictionary and you want to fuzz the subdomains with information taken from your information gathering phase, you can specify the file path.

Subdomain bruteforce with DNSExplorer
Subdomain bruteforce with DNSExplorer

This file must be specified using the basolute path, or just the name if it is in the same directory as the script. Note: The file must be text and correspond to the “ASCII text” format, any other format will not be for the script.

TLS SAN Validation

The script validates if it can connect to the domain using openssl against port 443 in order to find a secure website, then it inspects its TLS certificate for SAN records and displays them to the user.

TLS SAN Validation
TLS SAN Validation

Port 443 is used by default because the vast majority of domains on the internet host their secure web service on that port. However, this can be changed in the script code for specific cases.


Ideal to be run in hostile shell environments, for example a low-privilege remote reverse shell. Unnecessary output and bash colors have been removed, the script has been shortened to optimize its performance by removing unnecessary line breaks.

Its functionality is identical to that of the original script, it has only been optimized a little more at the shell scripting level, leaving aside the aesthetics of the code.

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