Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is a popular IT help desk software solution that helps organizations manage their IT services. Recently, a vulnerability identified as CVE-2022-40770 has been discovered, which affects versions 13010 and prior. This vulnerability allows high-privileged users to perform authenticated command injection. In this post, we will dive into the details of this vulnerability and discuss its impact, as well as provide links to original references and exploit details.

Vulnerability Details

The CVE-2022-40770 vulnerability is classified as a high-privilege authenticated command injection vulnerability. This means that an attacker who already has high-privilege access to the system can exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary commands on the server hosting Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus. This could lead to a total compromise of the server, allowing the attacker to access sensitive data, undermine system processes, and potentially launch further attacks on connected systems.

The vulnerability exists due to improper validation of user-input data when processing certain high-privileged activities in the affected versions of Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus. A successful exploit would require a malicious user to inject crafted data into specific fields, which will then be executed as part of the server-side process.

Here is an example of a code snippet demonstrating the vulnerable point in the application

// Sample vulnerable code (not actual source code)

// Retrieve input from the high-privileged user
String userInput = getRequestParameter("user_input");

// Process the input without proper validation
String command = "someCommand.sh " + userInput;

// Execute the command on the server

In this sample code snippet, user input is directly appended to a command string without proper validation, and the resulting command is executed on the server. An attacker could exploit this by providing crafted data that includes additional command instructions, which would then be executed on the server.

Original References

1. The CVE entry for this vulnerability - CVE-2022-40770: https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2022-40770
2. A comprehensive write-up by the security researcher who discovered the vulnerability: [Link to the researcher's blog post]

Exploit Details

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker who is already a high-privileged user needs to perform the following steps:

1. Authenticate to the Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus application using high-privileged user credentials.
2. Identify the specific fields where the command injection vulnerability exists, potentially through reverse engineering or by leveraging any disclosed details.
3. Craft the malicious payload that contains additional commands, taking care to properly escape any necessary characters.

Inject the malicious payload into the identified field(s) and submit the data to the server.

5. The server processes the malicious data, inadvertently executing the injected commands as part of the server-side process.

It is crucial to note that exploiting this vulnerability requires high-privilege access to the targeted system. However, organizations should still be aware of the potential risks associated with this vulnerability and take steps to patch their Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus installations to prevent unauthorized command execution.


CVE-2022-40770 is a significant vulnerability that affects Zoho ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus versions 13010 and prior. High-privileged users can exploit this command injection vulnerability to execute arbitrary commands on the server, potentially leading to a complete server compromise. It is crucial for organizations to update their installations to protect against this vulnerability and maintain the security of their systems.


Published on: 11/23/2022 03:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 11/28/2022 20:00:00 UTC