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Black box attack

Black box attack definition

A black box attack is a way to attack the system when the attacker doesn't have previous knowledge of the system, doesn't have access to source code, or any current vulnerabilities. The attacker attempts to exploit the system on observable guesses and responses. The attacker inputs various data into the system, waiting for reactions and outcomes; that way, he tries to deduce vulnerabilities or estimate its mechanisms. These attacks occur where direct inspection or analysis is impossible, usually in closed-off systems.

See also: network access control

Known black box attack examples:

  • Web app attacks: In web application attacks, fraudsters employ various tools that automate inputs into web apps, and then attackers observe the output and the data processing process. Later, they use this information to conduct attacks, like SQL injections or various site scraping methods.
  • Illegal ATM cash-outs: Attackers connect specified devices to the ATMs and send commands, trying to figure out the correct instructions that could trigger cash withdrawals. All that is done without understanding the mechanics or ATM software.
  • Network breach attempts: The black box approach is widely used in penetration testing and actual attacks to probe the system network. It is done by sending vast amounts of different network traffic to test the intrusion systems detection capabilities. Often, the goal is to get the system's response, so the network architecture could be mapped out.