VERT Threat Alert: January 2021 Patch Tuesday Analysis

Today’s VERT Alert addresses Microsoft’s January 2021 Security Updates. VERT is actively working on coverage for these vulnerabilities and expects to ship ASPL-922 on Wednesday, January 13th.

In-The-Wild & Disclosed CVEs


A vulnerability in the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MMPE) is currently seeing active exploitation. Since the MMPE is updated regularly with malware definitions, your products have likely already updated. If you want to be certain, check to see that your MMPE version is 1.1.17700.4 or later. If you have a lower version, you should force a manual software update.

Microsoft has rated this as Exploit Detected on the latest software release on the Exploitability Index.


This CVE is a little tricky as this is the vulnerability previously disclosed by Google Project Zero and ZDI, in December, which was publicly referred to as CVE-2020-17008 at the time. Please note that the CVE from December does not match the CVE issued today. Microsoft has made the unprecedented move of changing the existing CVE to match the year the patch was released. To assist our customers in identifying this vulnerability and ensuring all systems are patched, we have associated both CVEs with our detection logic for this vulnerability. We believe this may cause confusion in the patching process and we highly recommend sharing this information across your organization.

Microsoft has rated this as Exploitation Less Likely on the latest software release on the Exploitability Index.

CVE Breakdown by Tag

While historical Microsoft Security Bulletin groupings are gone, Microsoft vulnerabilities are tagged with an identifier. This list provides a breakdown of the CVEs on a per tag basis.

Tag CVE Count CVEs
Windows Hyper-V 3 CVE-2021-1691, CVE-2021-1692, CVE-2021-1704
Windows WalletService 4 CVE-2021-1681, CVE-2021-1686, CVE-2021-1687, CVE-2021-1690
Microsoft Windows 8 CVE-2021-1657, CVE-2021-1676, CVE-2021-1689, CVE-2021-1650, CVE-2021-1649, CVE-2021-1646, CVE-2021-1699, CVE-2021-1706
Microsoft Malware Protection Engine 1 CVE-2021-1647
Windows Media 1 CVE-2021-1710
Windows Installer 2 CVE-2021-1661, CVE-2021-1697
Visual Studio 1 CVE-2020-26870
Windows Projected File System Filter Driver 3 CVE-2021-1663, CVE-2021-1670, CVE-2021-1672
Microsoft DTV-DVD Video Decoder 1 CVE-2021-1668
Microsoft Bluetooth Driver 3 CVE-2021-1683, CVE-2021-1684, CVE-2021-1638
Microsoft Windows Codecs Library 2 CVE-2021-1644, CVE-2021-1643
Azure Active Directory Pod Identity 1 CVE-2021-1677
SQL Server 1 CVE-2021-1636
Windows CryptoAPI 1 CVE-2021-1679
Microsoft Graphics Component 4 CVE-2021-1665, CVE-2021-1696, CVE-2021-1708, CVE-2021-1709
Windows Event Tracing 1 CVE-2021-1662
Windows Kernel 1 CVE-2021-1682
Microsoft Office SharePoint 6 CVE-2021-1641, CVE-2021-1707, CVE-2021-1712, CVE-2021-1718, CVE-2021-1717, CVE-2021-1719
Microsoft Office 5 CVE-2021-1711, CVE-2021-1713, CVE-2021-1714, CVE-2021-1715, CVE-2021-1716
Windows Remote Procedure Call Runtime 9 CVE-2021-1658, CVE-2021-1660, CVE-2021-1664, CVE-2021-1666, CVE-2021-1667, CVE-2021-1671, CVE-2021-1673, CVE-2021-1700, CVE-2021-1701
Windows Remote Desktop 2 CVE-2021-1669, CVE-2021-1674
Windows NTLM 1 CVE-2021-1678
Windows AppX Deployment Extensions 2 CVE-2021-1642, CVE-2021-1685
.NET Repository 1 CVE-2021-1725
Windows Diagnostic Hub 2 CVE-2021-1651, CVE-2021-1680
Microsoft RPC 1 CVE-2021-1702
Microsoft Edge (HTML-based) 1 CVE-2021-1705
ASP.NET core & .NET core 1 CVE-2021-1723
Windows Event Logging Service 1 CVE-2021-1703
Windows DP API 1 CVE-2021-1645
Windows TPM Device Driver 1 CVE-2021-1656
Windows Update Stack 1 CVE-2021-1694
Windows Print Spooler Components 1 CVE-2021-1695
Microsoft Windows DNS 1 CVE-2021-1637
Windows splwow64 1 CVE-2021-1648
Windows CSC Service 7 CVE-2021-1652, CVE-2021-1653, CVE-2021-1654, CVE-2021-1655, CVE-2021-1659, CVE-2021-1688, CVE-2021-1693

Other Information

There were no advisories included in the January security guidance.