Patch Tuesday January 2021

Jordan Hammond Fun Headshot
Jordan Hammond|Updated January 12, 2021
Patch Tuesday
Patch Tuesday

I was told that all issues would go away when 2020 ended, but what happens on the second Tuesday of the first month? Patches! It turns out we still have security vulnerabilities and need to close those up. There are 83 in total and nine critical. Maybe things are looking up!

Some highlights (or lowlights)

  • CVE-2021-1647: I think anytime there is a critical patch for your antivirus that has already been exploited, you might want to talk about it, call me old fashioned like that. We don’t know the extent that it was exploited, but it is not wormable and has been patched. Defender is going to update on its own, and rather quickly. There is a decent chance this is already patched before I finish typing this sentence.

  • CVE-2021-1643: This is a remotely executable bug that involves High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). It does require user interaction and is not wormable, so it is not considered likely to be exploited, but it is critical, so getting it patched is essential.

  • CVE-2021-1648: This one is named splWOW64 is not listed as critical, but it is worth mentioning because it is publicly known, which does always increase the importance of getting patched. This is an elevation of privilege that appears to be for only Windows 10 20H2.

In review

Holy cow! January had everything for a Patch Tuesday: already known exploits, actively used exploits, a moderate level bug was even patched. I am glad you guys joined me on this rollercoaster ride. While I have enjoyed our time on this adventure, it might be time to install these things in your lab environment, test 'em out, and then perhaps roll it out to production after a well-defined time frame? I am not going to tell you how to systems administrate, though.


Jordan Hammond Fun Headshot
Jordan Hammond

Jordan had spent his life wondering why tasks he didn’t like to do had no options to complete themselves. Eventually he had to make that happen on his own. It turned out that he enjoyed making tasks complete themselves, and PDQ thought that is something he should talk about on the internet while drinking most Thursdays on the PDQ webcast.

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