Getting started with h8mail v2

on under h8mail
7 minute read

🌈 h8mail v2 has just been released

New features have been added to better hunt down passwords.

In the following write-up, we’ll be covering h8mail’s options with examples and use-cases. At the end of this page, you’ll hopefully be bringing passwords back like a necromancer 💀


Table of Content

h8mail’s homepage can be found on github.
As with all good modern stories, we have to start with the software’s installation procedure.
If thats done already, you can jump to Local Searching.


h8mail is now distributed using pip, which is a Python package manager. This article won’t go into details on how to configure python for your environment. To start you should at least:

  • Have Python3.6+ installed
  • Be able to call python in your terminal


Having both Python 2 and 3 installed is common. You can check the default Python version by running:

$ python --version

If it says Python 2.x, and have installed Python 3.6+, chances are you can just run:

$ python3 --version

This is typically the case for OSX, Kali Linux, and older Linux distributions. In the following instructions, remember to replace python with python3 if that’s your case.

Using pip to install h8mail

To install h8mail using pip, simply use:

$ pip3 install h8mail

If you have not set your venvs, you might get a permission error saying Consider using the --user option or check the permissions.
Simply add --user like so:

$ pip3 install --user h8mail

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some tips if you run into trouble.
Once your python command is working, you need to have pip installed. It probably shipped with your Python installation.
To check, simply type:

$ pip3 -h

If that’s not the case, you can use an integrated Python module to install pip like so:

$ python -m ensurepip
$ pip3 -h

This should take care of fetching, installing and linking pip.
If installation was successful and still having issues invoking pip, you can try running it as a module:

$ python -m pip -h


Local Searching

One of h8mail’s new feature is the local search. You can use compressed .gz files or uncompressed .txt files.

Working with compressed or cleartext breaches

Arguments can be passed loosely, such as:

$ h8mail -t targets.txt -gz ./Leaks/2019-*

More complex:

$ h8mail -t [email protected] -gz . ../Collection1/ ../Collection2/EU_* -lb /tmp/combolists/2019-* /tmp/dumps/leak.txt -o output.csv

If you wish to keep you search local, you can use -sk or --skip to skip online checks.

By default, h8mail will use multiprocessing, one “worker” for each file. This means h8mail will search multiple files at the same time. One “worker” will be spawned for each core your CPU has.

The local search can be combined with other h8mail features, such as HIBP, API services or regrouped results.

Illustrated local cleartext search: txt

Illustrated local compressed search with Collection1: gz

Loose search and inputs

Another one of h8mail’s new feature is the ability to perform loose searching, which is basically bypassing the email pattern recognition.
By default, h8mail looks for email patterns. This means you can pass raw files as targets, h8mail will look for emails and automatically add them to targets.

$ h8mail -t admins-list-page.html -lb /tmp/combos.txt

Since h8mail supports globing, you could even do something like this:

$ h8mail -t /crawled-html/*.html -gz ../Collection1/

Next, we’re going to introduce the --loose argument. APIs don’t support this, so be sure to skip online checks with -sk or --skip. This can be useful when looking for a domain, or patterns of usernames inside local files.

$ h8mail --loose --skip -t "" -gz ../Collection1/
$ h8mail --loose --skip -t "john.smith" "jsmith" -gz ../Collection1/

Or even recurring password:

$ h8mail --loose --skip -t "JSm1th99" -gz ../Collection1/

Illustrated loose search: loose

Single file mode

To avoid loosing performance, data is not passed between processes while performing a local search. This also means that h8mail will not output a precise lookup progress bar.
If you wish to disable multiprocessing to get a more verbose live lookup status, use the -sf or --single-file option, like so:

$ h8mail -t targets.txt -lb /tmp/combolists/ -sf -sk

Breach Compilation

This feature was already part of h8mail’s first version, and has been reintegrated. h8mail uses the script that is included in the torrent, meaning this will only work on Linux & OSX platforms. Windows users can still use the generic -lb on the data.

h8mail was built using the Breach Compilation version referenced here

To use this option, simply point the -bc argument to the downloaded BreachCompilation folder.

$ h8mail -t -bc ./BreachedCompilation/ -sk


Another one of h8mail’s new feature is the ability to target related emails using This is referred as chasing.
You can use the chasing feature with a free API key.

$ h8mail -t [email protected] -ch 10 -c config.ini

The -ch or --chase option needs the number of email per target to chase, as well as the API key for

You can chain usage of the chasing feature with APIs and local search, making it a very powerful feature when targeting an organization.

I might add search depths in a future version (launch a new chase with found related emails).

Finding and downloading breaches

Without giving away all the keys, I’ll add a few tips for those getting started.
First, data breaches are big. You’ll quickly want to learn how to use seedboxes and work remotely. Docker is great for this too.

In regards to where to find them, you can get the BreachCompilation torrent referenced earlier. You can also look into specialized communities, such as raidforums,, or direct download them from
This should be plenty enough to get you started.

Coming up next

In the next write-ups, we’re going to look at using h8mail with API services, such as Snusbase and Leak-lookup.

We’ll also look at some additional features, such as --hide for demonstrations, combining h8mail with Docker to download torrents super fast, even maybe using WhatBreach with h8mail.


I think I’ll close the write-up here.

If you create content based on h8mail (blog, video..) feel free to let me know, I’ll add it to the homepage if its relevant.

Finally, be nice, use your powers to help others. And show support for your open-source developers :)
Thank you for reading!


h8mail, OSINT, password, breach, haveibeenpwned, leak