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What Is Black Box Testing And Its Techniques?

Posted DateJuly 24, 2020
Posted Time 7   min Read

Black box testing is feature-specific testing. This means that users here do not focus on the particulars of the code. The code structure, the internal mechanisms, and the execution strategies of the code do not matter.

What the testers focus on are the requirements of the software and the results it generates adhering to the security standards. Thus, this is also known as Behavioural testing. Here, without much internal knowledge, the software’s capability as a product has tested both forms a functional and nonfunctional viewpoint.

Steps involved while introducing black-box testing

  • Required inputs for the software under test are identified.
  • Inputs are chosen in a way that they provide both success and failure scenarios.
  • Based on the specific inputs the software is allowed to execute.
  • The results generated are compared with the expected results.
  • The differences are noted down and corrected before the next iteration of the test begins.

Types of Black-Box Testing

Black box testing is a continuous process that keeps happening throughout the development phase of new software. This testing method helps to analyze software or applications’ functionalities without knowing much about the design or the internal structure. Black Box testing’s primary focus is to test the features of any application or software as a whole and not in-depth or fragmented.

Types of Black Box Testing

This is done again and again to find different bugs in the system and to make it more robust. Thus, several forms of black-box testing have been developed. Each of them can be used to address a wide variety of shortcomings in the software.

Broadly, these types of black-box testing can be divided into two categories into various types like Functional Testing, and. But here we will specifically learn about security testing, which is a form of non-functional testing through an assessment of the black box penetration system.

Black Box Security Testing

Beyond the functionality setup, black-box testing plays a crucial role in assessing the defense and security controls of the application this is referred to as black-box security testing.

Black Box Security Testing

This testing is done in such a fashion that it prepares the native environment for the external attack. The method that we are talking about here is the outside-in approach for testing security.

Here to better understand the working of an external attacker, the knowledge of the internal workings of the application is reduced. Also, since it focuses on maintaining security from an external attacker’s point of view, there is an inherent absence of technological dependency in the testing process.

The technology-independent method of testing helps to spot some of the crucial vulnerabilities resulting from a mishap in deployment and inappropriate configuration.

How does it work?

The process of web application black box testing is an automated setup that begins with gathering all the necessary information about the target. This is done with the help of crawlers, which scan the entire links and provide necessary information about the elements present on the page.

The black box security testing also involves identifying the technology that is incorporated in the web application. The reason why crawling is so important is that this is the place where the black box scanner identifies the input elements which need to be tested.

A black box security scanner uses a blend of passive and active scanning processes to spot vulnerabilities. It also provides information about remedial action.

Black Box Penetration Tester

In the case of the Black box penetration system, an external hacker is replaced with a penetration tester, hence we refer to it as a black-box penetration system. The penetration tester just like the external hacker has information only about the web application which is present in the public domain.

These testers have very limited knowledge of the application’s architectural design along with the source code info. The tester employed must have the know-how of automated scanning methods and spotting vulnerabilities from the outside-in.

Now since the tester is armed with limited internal knowledge of the application, it acts as an external attacker and finds the loopholes in the target system. This helps to spot any security vulnerabilities from the service side of things.

The penetration tester also has an inherent drawback, which comes to the fore when they are not apt to automate the scanning process. This leaves the threat and vulnerabilities of unexplored.

Blackbox Security Testing Techniques

Black Box Security Testing Techniques

Binary Security Analysis

As the name suggests, the binary security analysis audits the binary codes to search for any flaw. This is done with the help of two distinct binary analysis tools. The first tool mainly deals with the simulation of an attack to spot the security loophole.

In the first tool, the binary codes are analyzed at the execution stage, and they are monitored. Meanwhile, a malicious element is injected into the system during the binary execution to adversely impact the execution process. The constant monitoring helps to assess the success of the external malicious attack based on the functioning of the application.

Now, the second form of binary analysis tools mimics the binary executables to spot any errors. It is mainly put into the use of the java bytecode scanners. After all, comprehending and analyzing a well-structured java code is more effective than analyzing the raw source code.

Software penetration testing

Software penetration testing takes a cue from network penetration testing. Just like a network penetration tester has to have solid knowledge about network security. Similarly, the software penetrator tester must be attuned with the knowledge of security for applications and software.

The basis of using a software penetrating tester is to spot any inter-or-intra vulnerabilities in the application entry points for an outsider to exploit. This helps to block the sensitive spots from where an intruder can affect the crucial data of the software and other related resources.

The software penetration method encapsulates a larger area of security testing, as it can deal with more tedious security problems. This is why penetration testing has gained such importance over forms of testing like fuzzing, and Faulty injection.

Faulty injection of binary Executables

The faulty injection executables are mainly designed to spot the security threats which traditional tools of testing could not spot. It was developed by the software safety community, and it has a more realistic approach to spot security flaws in an application.

In this method of testing, stress is developed in the software with the safety fault injection, This results in problems of interoperability among the software components. Here the faults are mimicked as they would appear in a real-time execution situation.

The nature in which the faults are injected into the system is similar to those of outside attackers. It also triggers unintentional faults to spot software vulnerabilities in such situations.

Fault injection testing in combination with penetration testing helps to gauge the response of the software when attacked in an executable stage.

The key aspect of a fault injection system is highlighted with environment fault injection. Such a fault injection creates a close-to-real outside attack scenario.

It is a complex process of testing, and it only is fully utilized to its potential, when the complex attack scenarios are recreated to assess the behavioral reaction of the software.

Fuzz Testing

Fuzz testing involves the use of something called Fuzzers. This corrupts the data in use and occupies the space, this method of testing includes the injection of data that are random with the help of Fuzzers.

Now since the Fuzzers are written with a specific target program, they are not easy to plugin in other programs. This helps to gauge errors specific to a program, which some of the other forms of testing fail to spot due to the exclusivity of the program or application.

Byte Code, Assembler Code, and Binary Code Scanning

The byte code, assembler code, and binary code scanning can be perceived as source code scanning. Contrary to the security label of the testing approach.

This method does not focus solely on security but tests the uninterpreted form of codes ranging from binary to byte to assembler code in the executable stage. All of it happens before installation, and final execution.

On a side note, it is important to take into account that there are no such security scanners for byte codes and so on. It is the presence of few tools in the testing mechanism which bring out the security flaws to the front.

Automated vulnerability scanner

A vulnerability scanner is simply a scanning tool that is available in both in-licensing and open source forms. These tools or scanners assist companies in spotting vulnerabilities in the application network and security that other hackers can exploit.

There are two forms of a vulnerability scan, one can be done by staying inside the network bounds, and the other from the outside the network bounds. To put it simply, think of it as an internal and external network security scan.

The external scans are used to spot the vulnerable entry spot in the application and the servers, which can be used by a hacker to stage an attack.

Now, the internal scanners are used to spot the weakest entry point inside the local area network which a hacker can bridge through and pass on to the systems and server.

Now, the key to effective vulnerability management programs boils down to the effective use of both network and host-based scanners. The tester needs to assess the nature of the application and then deploy both the internal and external scanning tools.


Black box testing is an easy way of identifying the shortcomings of a program. The functionality-focused approach of the method ensures that no actual code has to be read from the code. But the non-functional test is also quite prevalent. With proper addressing of the functional and security (non-functional testing), users are given robust products that can handle the load and have high-security guidelines.

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