Everything you need to know about White Box Ethical Hacking

What is White Box Penetration Testing?

White Box Penetration Testing is a type of security testing in which the internal structure of a system or network is known to the penetration tester. White Box testing is often used to pentest  internal networks and systems of a company. 

White Box Testing is a testing technique where a tester is given access to all internal codebases of the system. In this type of testing, the tester knows what the code is supposed to do. It is a method to test the security of a system by examining how well it can resist all kind of real-time attacks.

White box penetration testing is also known as structural testing. This is the most used testing technique by the security testers because they get a clear picture of the application. The idea behind this testing is to simulate the attackers’ actions to try to find the security holes in the application to reduce security risks.

Benefits of White Box Penetration Testing

A successful white box penetration test will help your company avoid the mistakes and oversights that can leave your company vulnerable to hackers. White box penetration testing is a valuable part of your overall security strategy, as it helps you avoid the mistakes and oversights that can leave your company vulnerable to hackers. 

White box penetration testing is an enhancement of the more conventional black-box testing. It is also called structural testing, clear box testing. White-box testing is performed on the source code after it has been compiled. It examines the program’s internal structure or logical design. 

This is in contrast to black-box testing, which tests the program’s functionality, not its internal structure. 

Some benefits of white-box penetration testing are:

1. Less Time Consuming

To test a system, a tester has to have a pretty good understanding of the system like how it works internally, and what it is supposed to do. In white-box testing, having all this information can help you write the test cases more quickly. 

2. Extensive Testing

White box testing is based on an analysis of the code of the software which enables the tester to determine the entry and exit points of each function. It makes use of information about the code structure which can be found in the design documents, programming language specifications,  source code, programmer’s comments, UML diagrams, object model, or the high-level language model making white box penetration testing more extensive.

3. Early Detection

SDLC is an acronym for Software Development Life Cycle and SDLC has been evolving from the past to the present helping companies develop softwares in a better way. White Box penetration testing is integrated in the early SDLC, even before the application is available to customers or users making the vulnerabilities detectable at a very early stage.

Disadvantages of White Box Testing

1. Limited Mindset while testing

White-box testing is not efficient because when the tester knows the application’s internal structure, he tends to test the application in a way that is not efficient and will do things that do not cover the application properly.

2. Requires More Programming Knowledge

When performing a white-box penetration test, the tester needs to be familiar with critical programming tasks because this type of penetration test involves testing the internal network. The tester should at least be familiar with performing port scanning, SQL injection, and other common attacks to understand the potential access points better.

White Box Testing Techniques

White box testing technique verifies the internal structure of the software product (source code). White box testing techniques include Statement Coverage, Branch Coverage, Path Coverage, Decision Coverage, Time and State Coverage, etc.

Let’s understand some of them in detail.

1. Statement Coverage

Statements are the program’s building blocks, and they make the program run. By testing the program’s structure, you can ensure that the program is built logically and the logic is correct. 

2. Decision Coverage

The program is a set of decisions, and a decision is a condition that a certain condition is true or false. To be more specific, a decision can compare a variable against a constant or a variable against another variable. By testing the decisions in a program, you can ensure that the decisions are correct. 

3. Path Coverage

A path is a way to reach a particular location in a program. In path coverage, the program is tested from start to finish on all possible paths. In other words, if a program has five decisions and five paths, the program is tested from start to finish using all possible paths.

Common Tools used in White Box Penetration Testing

Penetration testers often use many tools for performing a penetration test. The toolset used by a penetration tester is often referred to as the “Toolbox.” 

Some common tools/libraries used to perform white-box penetration testing are:

1. Metasploit: Penetration testers use Metasploit to develop and validate the exploit code before using it in the real world. It can be used to test the security of a network or to hack into a remote computer. 

2. Nmap: Nmap is an open-source network administration tool for monitoring network connections. It is used to scan large networks and helps for auditing hosts and services and intrusion detection. It is used for both packet-level and scan-level analysis of network hosts. Nmap is free of cost and available to download.

3. PyTest: pytest is a mature full-featured Python testing tool that helps you write better programs. It is a simple yet powerful testing framework that supports test-driven development (TDD) and behavior-driven development (BDD).

4. NUnit: NUnit is an open-source unit testing framework for the .NET Framework and Mono. It is a tool that helps you write better code by reducing the amount of bugs in your application.

5. John the Ripper: John the Ripper is a fast password cracker, currently available for numerous flavors of Unix, Windows, DOS, BeOS, and OpenVMS. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. Besides several crypt(3) password hash types most commonly found on various Unix flavors, supported out of the box are Kerberos AFS and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 LM hashes, plus several more with contributed patches.

If you want to learn pentesting full course, the best place to start is with WsCube Tech. WsCube Tech provides a penetration testing course online as well as an offline course that provides students with all the technical knowledge and skills required for a successful career in hacking, hacking defense, or cyber forensics expert. By enrolling in one of the courses, students will receive a certificate of completion upon completing the course and earning its certification.