The content sent to an interpretive mechanism causes that
mechanism to act inappropriately. Examples include Web-based URLs that
bypass firewalls by causing the browser within the firewall to launch
attacks against other inside systems, macros written in spreadsheet or word
processing languages that cause those programs to perform malicious acts,
and compressed archives that contain files with name clashes causing key
system files to be overwritten when the archive is decompressed.
Complexity: Many content-based attacks are quite simple or are easily
derived from published information. They tend to be quick to operate and
simple to program. More sophisticated attacks exploiting a content-based
flaw may require far more attack prowess. No mathematical analysis has been
published of this class of attacks to date.