Terms Glossary

White-Box Testing

What is White-Box Testing?

White Box Penetration testing is a method where some information is known about the network or the application. A Penetration Tester will be provided credentials to access web applications and whitelisted so that they are not blocked by firewalls or intrusion detection systems. They may be provided with a demo or documentation for the application or network to have a good idea of the functionality and the risk areas.  In the internal network test case, the penetration tester will be provided with a range of IP addresses and a foothold within the network.  They may also be provided a network diagram or other information about the devices on the network.  

This type of penetration testing may provide the most in-depth testing and the best idea of what a well-informed attacker could exploit (i.e., a disgruntled employee with company knowledge and some level of access); the penetration testers are the most informed.  Testers can identify vulnerabilities and target the most critical systems or areas of the application to identify any security weaknesses.  

Goals of White-Box Testing

The white-box testing method’s primary goal is to analyze software’s internal structure and its underlying logic. White-box testing can also be referred to as logic-driven testing. White box testing can be very time-consuming. It requires the development of proper detailed, function-driven, and reliable test cases. To accomplish this, testers must have exceptional coding skills, full knowledge of the software they are testing, and access to all source code and architecture documents.  

Professional developers usually perform White-box testing. They use their expertise to get an internal perspective on the application structure, figure out what is happening within the source code, and fix what’s not working as expected. In addition to in-depth knowledge, the method also requires specialized tools for source code analysis and debugging.

White-box testers thoroughly study the code and other internal aspects of the given software, determine all the valid or invalid inputs. Using this data, they then verify the outputs against the expected outcomes. They check the statements and conditions, the code paths, and data-flows to ensure there are no hidden errors or defect-prone elements.

White-box testing is mainly used for integration testing, but it can be used at other levels to some degree. Use during integration testing helps analyze interactions between different subsystems and any underlying problems that may arise.

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