The Zoho CRM Lead Magnet plugin, a popular WordPress plugin that allows businesses to capture leads and automate customer relationship management (CRM) processes, has been found vulnerable to a critical security risk. This vulnerability, labeled as CVE-2022-41978, affects all plugin versions up to and including Specifically, the vulnerability allows authenticated attackers to update arbitrary options on the plugin, allowing them to gain administrative access, potentially manipulate data, and cause other harmful consequences to the affected WordPress websites.

In this post, we will dive deep into the details of this vulnerability and explore its implications, outline the affected code snippet, and provide links to the original references.

Exploit Details

The CVE-2022-41978 vulnerability was discovered by security researchers who found that the Zoho CRM Lead Magnet plugin contained a flaw in its code that grants authenticated users the ability to modify arbitrary options. This vulnerability is considered an "Authenticated Arbitrary Options Update" exploit, as it requires attackers to have authenticated access (such as subscriber-level access) on the WordPress website.

The issue stems from a lack of proper input validation and access control in the plugin's code. Attackers exploiting this vulnerability can essentially update any option in the plugin settings, allowing them to modify the website's behavior or gain administrative access.

Code Snippet

The affected code snippet is found in the zoho_crm/functions.php file of the plugin. Here is the problematic code:

function zoho_crm_update_options() {
  $options = get_option('zoho_crm_options');
  $new_options = array_merge($options, $_REQUEST['zoho_crm']);

  if (update_option('zoho_crm_options', $new_options)) {
  } else {
add_action('wp_ajax_zoho_crm_update_options', 'zoho_crm_update_options');

As you can see, the zoho_crm_update_options function takes data from the $_REQUEST global variable without properly validating or sanitizing it. This allows attackers to supply arbitrary options in the request and have them be merged with the existing options, effectively allowing them to update any option they choose.

For more information on this vulnerability, you can refer to the following resources

1. Official CVE record:
2. National Vulnerability Database (NVD) information:
3. WPScan Vulnerability Database:

Mitigation and Recommendations

To protect your WordPress website from this critical vulnerability, it is highly recommended to update the Zoho CRM Lead Magnet plugin to the latest version as soon as possible. As of writing this post, the plugin authors have not yet released a patched version addressing this issue, so users are advised to monitor the plugin's update page regularly and apply any patches when they become available.

In the meantime, site administrators should restrict access to the WordPress admin dashboard and ensure that only trusted users have access. Implementing stronger access control methods and employing best security practices can also help mitigate the risk associated with this vulnerability.


CVE-2022-41978 is a critical vulnerability in the Zoho CRM Lead Magnet plugin for WordPress, potentially causing serious consequences for affected websites. As the plugin developers work on releasing a fix, website administrators should take necessary precautions to protect their sites from this exploit. By staying informed and implementing proper security measures, administrators can help keep their websites and users safe from harm.


Published on: 11/09/2022 16:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 11/09/2022 19:26:00 UTC