Assimilation of various penetration testing types is instrumental for business entities to understand which forms of pentesting techniques will prove the most appropriate for their cybersecurity needs. We have already undertaken a nuanced analysis of black-box external pentesting. Now it’s time to move on to another main penetration testing method- the white box penetration testing.
What is the meaning of white box pentesting?
White box penetration testing represents a form of testing where the pentesting team is already aware of the internal apparatus of the client’s application system or software. White box pentests also hold reverence as the clear box or transparent penetration testing. Contrary to black-box pentesting, this test allows the revelation of various system nitty-gritty and codebases. The testers have direct credentialed access to the system software and are more aware of the computer system’s functional framework.
During a white box pentest, the testing team can interact with the client entity’s software engineers to understand the essentialities of the system in question and implement hacking methods similar to actual attacks. They are better prepared to devise different threatening strategies due to the prior acquired system information. Thus, many penetration testing professionals prefer this form of pentesting. White box pentesting is one of the most widely used penetration testing types across diverse organizations.
What are the fundamental white box testing methodologies?
White box testers usually put significant focus on ensuring extensive coverage of the entire source code of the required system or application. The testers can assure the level at which the test suite executes and tests the app logic using code coverage analysis. The unique forms of white box testing methodologies include:
Branch coverage white box pentesting
The branch coverage pentesting corroborates that the testers test all branch codes. This methodology segments the code into conditional logic branches. Testers can then easily verify that the test units encompass all branches. It is crucial to ensure the launch of all branch codes at least once.
Path coverage white box pentesting
This white box testing emphasizes the independent paths passing through the code that leads to a required location. It tests the programs on all realizable paths from the initiation to the end. Testers can find this coverage methodology convenient to assess programs with a complex build.
Statement coverage white box pentesting
Statements denote a set of actions or functions that the application must perform as per the programming language utilized for coding. This coverage technique allows authenticating that each statement of the application system is tested at a minimum once. Testers can use this methodology to find missing statements or residual codes.
Decision coverage white box pentesting
Decision coverage testing enables clients to ensure that all decision elements of their program are correct. A decision refers to a premise regarding whether a given condition is valid or invalid in the technical essence. The computer programs comprise a series of different decisions. Thus, this type of coverage white-box testing helps in improving the usage of the various programs developed and utilized in an entity.
Why should you choose white box pentesting?
White box pen testing can prove resourceful for many forms of business organizations. One can derive the following merits after implementing white box penetration testing:
Supports an extensive penetration testing process
With white-box penetration testing, the testing team has a wide range of system details at their disposal. Thus, they are well equipped to conduct a comprehensive penetration test with higher precision.
Improves the probability of error detection
One of the main aims of any testing strategy is to bring out all the relevant system errors to the surface. White box penetration testing enables the pentesters to handle the reigns of the testing process better as they have more knowledge of the system’s operations. One can merge the white box pen testing process with the system development process. Thus, there are increased chances of bugs and errors coming to light at the onset itself.
Quicker and smoother to implement
The increased familiarity with the client system’s processes allows the pentesters to lower the timeline of the penetration test completion. The time devoted to a white box pentest is often relatively less than a black box test. The testers tend to be more efficient and execute the testing phases seamlessly.
Offers better coherence
The unambiguity associated with clear box penetration testing allows the pentesters to test the internal system systematically. The client entity’s technical team and the testing squad can coordinate appropriately for the testing needs with much better clarity. Thus, it magnifies the possibility of a successful penetration testing endeavor.
Provides enhanced modifiability
White box testing supports effortless modifications. The developers can make the system changes even during the development phase of an application program if required.
What is the detailed stepwise process for white box pentesting?
There are some predefined paths of action that testers can carry out to move towards a successful white box penetration testing project.
Selection of the requisite testing areas
At the start, the white box penetration testers should stipulate the areas of the system that they need to test. Most tests aim to include all principal areas under their ambit. The division of the system into critical smaller parts simplifies the testing. This factor enables us to check all possible situations for every coding element. It also helps in enhancing the accuracy of the testing results. One should avoid covering large parts of the system at once during the testing process. Such a practice will make penetration testing more resource-intensive and increase the efforts needed.
The identification step streamlines the testing process as it helps to recognize the possible code permutations and combinations. The pentesting squad should first slate out all the potential coding lines in this step. Then, they move on with the process of picking out all the possible codes in the aspect of the entity’s system or functionality that require testing. Later, the testing squad should note down the individual outputs for the codes in the flowchart.
Penning down the test cases
The penetration testing team will write down all probable test cases for each step. Every test case should describe details such as aspects that can lead to test failures or where precisely one can assess the system’s susceptibilities.
Execution of the tests
Once the testers reach this step, they brace for enforcing their game plan. They set the tone for all facets of the testing program. It is recommended to continue the tests sequentially until they have evaluated all the systems required and there persist no issues.
Generation of necessary reports
Ultimately, the penetration testing team draws out a report outlining all the strategies and plans executed. They communicate the testing outcomes to the client entity with other necessary feedback.
What are some eminent tools that testers can utilize for white-box penetration testing?
This Python-based testing tool supports the development of more systematic programs. It enables behavior-driven development along with test-driven development.
Being an open-source network scanning tool, it administers network connections to enable auditing hosts and unwanted access. Nmap is suitable for both scan-level and packet-level network analysis.
It is an open-source unit testing tool for the Mono and .Net framework that supports more accurate coding and error reduction in the proposed application.
This tool helps pentesters create and assess exploit codes before exploiting the existing system.
Wireshark is a well-known open source network protocol analyzer used for assessing the traffic type that moves through your network. It is valuable for filtering network protocols and troubleshooting system and network performance glitches.
What are certain constraints that testers might face while doing white box pentesting?
- It can prove cumbersome to execute
The need to assess the system extensively under a white box pentest can be pretty wearying and challenging to implement.
- There is a possibility of a restricted mind frame during the testing.
The availability of a vast range of information related to the system under internal pentesting might limit the mindset of the testers. They may test the system application ineffectively, leading to wrong conclusions.
- It may demand more advanced programming proficiency.
Since white box pen testing requires an understanding of the system’s internal structure, the testers might need acquaintance with multiple programming functions. It can be difficult for many testers to keep pace with the evolving world of programming languages and app development.
Collaborate with NaviSec to hire the best-in-the-league penetration testing troupe for your cybersecurity necessities!
The cybersecurity world is transforming almost every minute. New virtual threats and exploit methods call for an upgraded and evolved security system. The sustenance of such systems requires penetration testing. NaviSec has the know-how and resources to handle complex pentests like black box and white box pentesting. We can support your mission to achieve a solid cybersecurity structure for your entity while complying with needed regulations. Contact our top data security consultants now!