Gray box testing, also called gray box analysis, is a strategy for software debugging in which the tester has limited knowledge of the internal details of the program. A gray box is a device, program or system whose workings are partially understood.
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Gray box testing can be contrasted with black box testing, a scenario in which the tester has no knowledge or access to the internal workings of a program, or white box testing, a scenario in which the internal particulars are fully known. Gray box testing is commonly used in penetration tests.
Gray box testing is considered to be non-intrusive and unbiased because it does not require that the tester have access to the source code. With respect to internal processes, gray box testing treats a program as a black box that must be analyzed from the outside. During a gray box test, the person may know how the system components interact but not have detailed knowledge about internal program functions and operation. A clear distinction exists between the developer and the tester, thereby minimizing the risk of personnel conflicts.