Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Are you looking to use the public PassiveDNS database API? Please see the simplified integration guide for external users.

Detailed API documentation

The Swagger API documentation is always up-to-date and lets you try out any query with your user session or an API-key.

Integration guide

Simple query

To perform a simple PDNS query, use<query>?parameters

where "<query>" is a DNS query or answer string to lookup, for example

Query parameters

There are multiple query parameters that can be passed along:

ParameterPossible valuesDefault valueDescription

Limit the number of returned values.
The default value of .25 is set to avoid that a queried record with a huge resultset is streamed back to the client unecessarily.

A value of "0" means that the client explicitly requests an unlimited resultset.
If the requested resultset exceeds server resource constraints (100 000 values currently), error code 412 will be returned.


Skip the initial <offset> number of values in the resultset.

Together with the parameter "limit", this allows a client to perform pagination of the results.

rrClassAny DNS record class<any>

The most probable record class is IN.

By default, this field is not filtered.

rrTypeAny DNS record type<any>

The most used record classes are A, AAAA, PTR, CNAME and MX, but any supported DNS record name can be used here.

By default, this field is not filtered.

The following options are only meaningful for use with private PDNS data

If the user is authenticated, and has access to private PDNS data, this filter can limit which customers to return data for.

Only records from customers the user has access to will be affected by this filter.

Public data from other customers are "anonymous", and can be filtered out using the parameter "includeAnonymous".


If set, limit the returned records by TLP.

For customers which the user does not have access to private data, only TLP white records will be returned.

If the user is not authenticated, then also will only TLP white records be returned.


The PDNS service contains data from multiple customers, and PDNS records are stored per customer.

By default, any data returned by the service will be aggregated into one record per query/answer tuple.

If aggregate is set to false, the service will return each non-anonymous record separately.


If true (default), any public data in the PDNS service will be included in the query results.

If set to false, only data from customers the user has access to will be included.

Result format

The result format is JSON, and consists of a result container, and a number of results.

The result container has the following format

    "responseCode": 200, # the response code. Normal responses should return HTTP code 200
    "count": 20,         # the total number of matching records. If this value is lower than the imposed limit, the resultset is truncated!
    "limit": 25,         # the limit imposed on the query results (default is 25). Use the limit parameter in the request to set a higher limit.
    "offset": 0,         # the offset applied on the query results (default i 0)
    "currentPage": 1,    # the current "page" (calculated from limit/offset)
    "size": 20,          # the size of the current resultset (should be same as count or limit)
    "data": [],          # the list of query result objects
    "messages": [],      # any server messages
    "metaData": {},      # any server metadata}


Each query result has the following format:

    "rrclass": "in",                      # the DNS record class
    "rrtype": "a",                        # the DNS record type
    "query": "",                  # the DNS record query part
    "answer": "",           # the DNS record answer part
    "firstSeenTimestamp": 1340308340000,  # the first registered timestamp for this record 
    "lastSeenTimestamp": 1377520248000,   # the last registered timestamp for this record
    "maxTtl": 300,                        # the maximum TTL observed for this record
    "minTtl": 300,                        # the minimum TTL observed for this record
    "times": 675,                         # the number of times this record has been observed
    "tlp": "white",                       # the TLP of this record. Public records have TLP "white"
    "customer": null,                     # the customer owning this record. If null, this is an aggregated or anonymous record.
    "createdTimestamp": 0,                # not in use
    "lastUpdatedTimestamp": 0,            # not in use



Query for any record concerning the domain ""
Includes both DNS records for queries for and DNS records returning the value ""
Does not contain subdomains of

Query for any record concerning the domain "".
Return all results, no matter how big the resultset is.
Query for  A-records for the domain ""
Query for  A-records and MX-records for the domain ""
Query for any record for the IPv4 address ""

Query for any record for the IPv6 address "2a04:4e42:400::323"

JSON query format

An alternative to a simple GET-string is a POST query with a JSON query format to the URL


curl -X POST -d '
  "query": "",
  "rrClass": [
  "rrType": [
  "limit": 0,
  "offset": 0

The POST-query is currently permitting the same parameters as the GET query, but new future parameters or advanced/nested parameters may be added only to the JSON query format as an "advanced format".

Authenticated queries

The PDNS API is publicly available, and does not require authentication.

However, unauthenticated queries are limited to see only public data (TLP white), and are limited to 1000 requests per day (currently).

To access private data (granted that mnemonic is collecting PDNS data from your customer), you need to use an authenticated query.
Also, users with an extended PDNS resource limit must use authenticated queries to be able to use their quota.

To authenticate your query, you need to request an API key from mnemonic.

To use that API-key, add a HTTP header to your request:

Argus-API-Key: 1234/1/abcd1234ef012


curl -H "Argus-API-Key: 1234/1/abcd1234ef012" -X GET

Resource limits

All users are subject to resource limitations.

  • Unauthenticated users are limited to 100 requests per minute, and 1000 requests per day.
  • Authenticated users are limited according to their agreement with mnemonic.

If you hit the resource limit, Argus will return a 402 error, with the following JSON response:

    "responseCode": 402,
    "data": null,
    "messages": [
            "message": "Resource limit exceeded",
            "messageTemplate": "resource.limit.exceeded",
            "type": "ACTION_ERROR"
    "metaData": {
        "millisUntilResourcesAvailable": 558


The resource limit is calculated both per minute and per day.

  • If you reach the per-minute (short-term) resource limit, you will typically be rejected for a short period, to save resources on our end.
  • If you reach the per-day (long-term) resource limit, you will typically be rejected for a period up to 24 hours. This means you have exhausted the data quota granted by mnemonic.


If you find yourself reaching the per-day resource limit a lot, you may want to request a higher resource quota from mnemonic

Please use the metadata key "millisUntilResourcesAvailable" to let your client back off gracefully.



  • No labels