The Different Forms of Penetration Tests

What is Penetration Testing?

The Different Forms of Penetration Tests – The form of penetration test that you’ll conduct depends on the needs of your client. In this part of the book, you’ll learn about the different kinds of “pen tests”.

The Different Forms of Penetration Tests

Black Box Tests

In a black box test, you don’t have any information regarding your target. Your first task is to research about your client’s network. Your client will define the results they need, but they won’t give you other pieces of data.

The Advantages

Black box tests offer the following advantages:

  • The tester will start from scratch. Thus, he will act like a malicious hacker who wants to access a network.
  • The tester will have higher chances of detecting conflicts in the network.
  • The tester doesn’t need to be an expert programmer. Unlike other types of pen tests, black box tests don’t rely on ready-made scripts.

The Different Forms of Penetration Tests

The Disadvantages

The disadvantages of black box tests are:

  • It can be time-consuming.
  • It is extremely complex. The tester needs to spend time and effort in designing and launching an attack.

The Different Forms of Penetration Tests

White Box Tests

These tests are detailed and comprehensive, since the hacker has access to all the information related to his target. For example, the hacker can use the IP addresses and source codes of a network as basis for his attack.

This form of test relies heavily on codes and programming skills.

The Advantages

The main advantages of white box testing are:

  • It makes sure that each module path is working properly.
  • It makes sure that each logical decision is verified and comes with the right Boolean value.
  • It allows the hacker to detect errors in scripts.
  • It helps the hacker in identifying design flaws that result from conflicts between the target’s logical flow and actual implementation.

Gray Box Tests

Here, the hacker has access to some information regarding his target. You may think of a gray box test as a combination of black box and white box tests.

The Advantages

  • The hacker can perform the test even without using the network’s source code. Thus, the penetration test is objective and non-intrusive.
  • There will be minimal connection between the tester and the developer.
  • The client doesn’t need to supply every piece of information to the tester. Sharing private or sensitive information with an outsider is extremely risky, especially if that third-party is skilled in attacking networks.

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