January 2021 – Microsoft Patch Tuesday and Other Patches

Microsoft has released fixes for 83 vulnerabilities, with ten updates classified as Critical and 73 as Important.

Windows 10 Updates for January 2021:

  • KB4598242 (OS Builds 19041.746 and 19042.746) for Windows 10 version 20H2/2004
  • KB4598229 (OS Build 18363.1316) for Windows 10, version 1909
  • KB4598230 (OS Build 17763.1697) for Windows 10 version 1809
  • KB4598245 (OS Build 17134.1967) for Windows 10 version 1803
  • KB4599208 (OS Build 15063.2614) for Windows 10 version 1703
  • KB4598243 (OS Build 14393.4169) for Windows 10 version 1607
  • KB4598231 (OS Build 10240.18818) for Windows 10, initial release

Additional January 2021 Patching Resources:

On January 12, 2021 (Pacific Time), Microsoft released security updates affecting the following Microsoft products:

Product FamilyMaximum SeverityMaximum ImpactAssociated KB Articles and/or Support Webpages
Windows 10 v20H2, v2004, v1909, v1809, and v1803CriticalRemote Code ExecutionWindows 10 v2004 and Windows 10 v20H2: 4598242 Windows 10 v1909: 4598229 Windows 10 v1809: 4598230 Windows 10 v1803: 4598245
Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, and Server Core installations (2019, 2016, v20H2, v2004, v1909)CriticalRemote Code ExecutionWindows Server 2019: 4598230 Windows Server 2016: 4598243 Windows Server v2004 and Windows Server v20H2: 4598242 Windows Server v1909: 4598229
Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012CriticalRemote Code ExecutionWindows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Monthly Rollup: 4598285 Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Security Only: 4598275 Windows Server 2012 Monthly Rollup: 4598278 Windows Server 2012 Security Only: 4598297
Microsoft Office-related softwareImportantRemote Code ExecutionKB Articles associated with Microsoft Office-related software: 4493156, 4486736, 4486755, 4486759, 4486762, 4486764, 4493142, 4493143, 4493145, 4493160, 4493165, 4493168, 4493171, 4493176, 4493181, 4493183, and 4493186
Microsoft SharePoint-related softwareImportantRemote Code ExecutionKB Articles associated with Microsoft SharePoint-related software: 4486683, 4486724, 4493161, 4493162, 4493163, 4493167, 4493175, 4493178, and 4493187
Microsoft .NET-related softwareImportantDenial of ServiceFind details on security updates for .NET Framework-related software in the Security Update Guide: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide
Microsoft SQL Server-related softwareImportantElevation of PrivilegeKB Articles associated with Microsoft SQL Server-related software: 4583456, 4583457, 4583458, 4583459, 4583460, 4583461, 4583462, 4583463, and 4583465
Microsoft Visual Studio-related softwareImportantRemote Code ExecutionKB Articles associated with Microsoft Visual Studio-related software: 4584787
Microsoft Malware Protection EngineCriticalRemote Code ExecutionFind details for security updates for the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine in the Security Update Guide: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide

Notes:

  • The summary above is an overview of updates for the most recent versions of commonly used software.
  • Updates for older versions, apps, and open source software may not be listed.
  • Updates may have been added or removed from the release after this content was finalized.
  • Find details for all updates in the monthly release in the Security Update Guide: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide
  • For additional details, see the release notes at: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/releaseNote/2021-Jan  

Security vulnerability overview:

Below is a summary showing the number of vulnerabilities addressed in this release, broken down by product/component and by impact.

Vulnerability DetailsRCEEOPIDSFBDOSSPFTMPPublicly DisclosedKnown ExploitMax CVSS
Windows 10 v20H2 & Windows Server v20H21331106200108.8
Windows 10 v2004 & Windows Server v20041331106200108.8
Windows 10 v1909 & Windows Server v1909133086200108.8
Windows 10 v1809 & Windows Server 2019133086100108.8
Windows 10 v1803133076100108.8
Windows Server 2016132775200108.8
Windows 8.1 & Server 2012 R2131764200108.8
Windows Server 2012131752100108.8
Microsoft Office-related software5000000007.8
Microsoft SharePoint-related software4200021008.8
Microsoft SQL Server-related software0100000008.8
Microsoft Visual Studio-related software1200100007.8
Microsoft .NET-related software0000100007.5
Microsoft Malware Protection Engine1000000017.8
RCE = Remote Code Execution | EOP = Elevation of Privilege | ID = Information Disclosure | SFB = Security Feature Bypass | DOS = Denial of Service | SPF = Spoofing | TMP = Tampering

Notes: 

  • Vulnerabilities that overlap components may be represented more than once in the table.
  • The summary above is an overview of updates for commonly used software. Updates for older versions, apps, and open source software may not be listed.
  • Updates may have been added or removed from the release after this content was finalized.
  • Find details for all updates in the monthly release in the Security Update Guide: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide
  • For additional details, see the release notes at: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/releaseNote/2021-Jan  

Resources for deploying updates to remote devices:

With so many people working remotely, it is a good time to review guidance on deploying security updates to remote devices, such as desktops, laptops, and tablets. Here are some resources to answer questions pertaining to deploying updates to remote devices.

Part 1: Helping businesses rapidly set up to work securely from personal PCs and mobiles
Part 2: Helping IT send and provision business PCs at home to work securely during COVID-19
Part 3: Manage work devices at home during Covid-19 using Configuration Manager
Part 4: Managing remote machines with cloud management gateway (CMG)
Part 5: Managing Patch Tuesday with Configuration Manager in a remote work world

See also:
Mastering​ Configuration Manager Bandwidth limitations for VPN connected Clients

Vulnerability details for the current month:

Below are summaries for some of the security vulnerabilities in this release. These specific vulnerabilities were selected from the larger set of vulnerabilities in the release for one or more of the following reasons: 1) We received inquiries regarding the vulnerability; 2) the vulnerability may have received attention in the trade press; or 3) the vulnerability is potentially more impactful than others in the release. Because we do not provide summaries for every vulnerability in the release, you should review the content in the Security Update Guide for information not provided in these summaries.

Notes on details in the vulnerability summaries:

Attack VectorThis metric reflects the context by which vulnerability exploitation is possible. The Base Score increases the more remote (logically, and physically) an attacker can be in order to exploit the vulnerable component.
Attack ComplexityThis metric describes the conditions beyond the attacker’s control that must exist in order to exploit the vulnerability. Such conditions may require the collection of more information about the target or computational exceptions. The assessment of this metric excludes any requirements for user interaction in order to exploit the vulnerability. If a specific configuration is required for an attack to succeed, the Base metrics should be scored assuming the vulnerable component is in that configuration.
Privileges RequiredThis metric describes the level of privileges an attacker must possess before successfully exploiting the vulnerability.
User InteractionThis metric captures the requirement for a user, other than the attacker, to participate in the successful compromise the vulnerable component. This metric determines whether the vulnerability can be exploited solely at the will of the attacker, or whether a separate user (or user-initiated process) must participate in some manner.
CVE-2021-1674Windows Remote Desktop Protocol Core Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability
ImpactSecurity Feature Bypass
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score8.8
Attack VectorNetwork
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareAll supported versions of Windows
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1674
CVE-2021-1673Remote Procedure Call Runtime Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityCritical
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score8.8
Attack VectorNetwork
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareAll supported versions of Windows
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1673
CVE-2021-1643HEVC Video Extensions Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityCritical
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredNone
User InteractionRequired
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareHEVC Video Extensions
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1643
CVE-2021-1648Microsoft splwow64 Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability
ImpactElevation of Privilege
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?Yes
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareAll supported versions of Windows
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1648
CVE-2021-1665GDI+ Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityCritical
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareAll supported versions of Windows
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1665
CVE-2021-1705Microsoft Edge (HTML-based) Memory Corruption Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityCritical
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score4.2
Attack VectorNetwork
Attack ComplexityHigh
Privileges RequiredNone
User InteractionRequired
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityLow
IntegrityLow
AvailabilityNone
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft Edge (EdgeHTML-based)
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1705
CVE-2021-1707Microsoft SharePoint Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation more likely
CVSS Base Score8.8
Attack VectorNetwork
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2019, and SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1707
CVE-2021-1714Microsoft Excel Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredNone
User InteractionRequired
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft Excel 365 Apps for Enterprise, Excel Services, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 2019, Office 2019 for Mac, Office Online Server, Office Web Apps Server 2013, and Office SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013.
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1714
CVE-2021-1715Microsoft Word Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredNone
User InteractionRequired
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft Excel 365 Apps for Enterprise, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Office 2010, Office 2019, Office 2019 for Mac, Office Online Server, Office Web Apps 2010, Office Web Apps Server 2013, Office SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013, SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2010, and SharePoint Server 2019 
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1715
CVE-2021-1636Microsoft SQL Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability
ImpactElevation of Privilege
SeverityImportant
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?No
ExploitabilityExploitation less likely
CVSS Base Score8.8
Attack VectorNetwork
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017, and SQL Server 2019
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1636
CVE-2021-1647Microsoft Defender Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
ImpactRemote Code Execution
SeverityCritical
Publicly Disclosed?No
Known Exploits?Yes
ExploitabilityExploitation detected
CVSS Base Score7.8
Attack VectorLocal
Attack ComplexityLow
Privileges RequiredLow
User InteractionNone
ScopeUnchanged
ConfidentialityHigh
IntegrityHigh
AvailabilityHigh
Affected SoftwareMicrosoft Security Essentials, System Center 2012 R2, System Center Endpoint Protection, Windows Defender
More Informationhttps://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1647 

Disclosure: Source for the info below:

List of patched Office security vulnerabilities

Office security updates published as part of the January 2021 Patch Tuesday address bugs exposing Windows systems running vulnerable Click to Run and Microsoft Installer (.msi)-based editions of Microsoft Office products to remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

Microsoft rated the six RCE bugs patched this month as Important severity issues since they could enable attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user.

TagCVE IDCVE TitleSeverity
Microsoft OfficeCVE-2021-1713Microsoft Excel Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft OfficeCVE-2021-1714Microsoft Excel Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft OfficeCVE-2021-1711Microsoft Office Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft OfficeCVE-2021-1715Microsoft Word Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft OfficeCVE-2021-1716Microsoft Word Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1712Microsoft SharePoint Elevation of Privilege VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1707Microsoft SharePoint Server Remote Code Execution VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1718Microsoft SharePoint Server Tampering VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1717Microsoft SharePoint Spoofing VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1719Microsoft SharePoint Elevation of Privilege VulnerabilityImportant
Microsoft Office SharePointCVE-2021-1641Microsoft SharePoint Spoofing VulnerabilityImportant

January 2021 Microsoft Office security updates

Microsoft Office security updates are delivered through the Microsoft Update platform and via the Download Center.

Further information about each of them is available within the knowledge base articles linked below.

To download the January 2021 Microsoft Office security updates, you have to click on the corresponding knowledge base article below and then scroll down to the ‘How to download and install the update‘ section.

Microsoft Office 2016

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Excel 2016Security update for Excel 2016 (KB4493165)
Office 2016Security update for Office 2016 (KB4493168)
Office 2016Security update for Office 2016 (KB4486755)
Word 2016Security update for Word 2016 (KB4493156)


Microsoft Office 2013

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Excel 2013Security update for Excel 2013 (KB4493176)
Office 2013Security update for Office 2013 (KB4486762)
Office 2013Security update for Office 2013 (KB4486759)
Word 2013Security update for Word 2013 (KB4486764)


Microsoft Office 2010

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Excel 2010Security update for Excel 2010 (KB4493186)
Office 2010Security update for Office 2010 (KB4493143)
Office 2010Security update for Office 2010 (KB4493142)
Office 2010Security update for Office 2010 (KB4493181)
Word 2010Security update for Word 2010 (KB4493145)


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Office Online ServerSecurity update for Office Online Server (KB4493160)
SharePoint Server 2019Security update for SharePoint Server 2019 (KB4493162)
SharePoint Server 2019 Language PackSecurity update for SharePoint Server 2019 Language Pack (KB4493161)


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016Security update for SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016 (KB4493163)
SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016Security update for SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016 (KB4493167)


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Office Web Apps Server 2013Security update for Office Web Apps Server 2013 (KB4493171)
Project Server 2013Cumulative update for Project Server 2013 (KB4493173)
SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013Security update for SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013 (KB4486724)
SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013Security update for SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013 (KB4486683)
SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013Cumulative update for SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013 (KB4493150)
SharePoint Foundation 2013Security update for SharePoint Foundation 2013 (KB4493175)
SharePoint Foundation 2013Cumulative update for SharePoint Foundation 2013 (KB4493172)


Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

ProductKnowledge Base article title and number
Project Server 2010Cumulative update for Project Server 2010 (KB4493182)
SharePoint Foundation 2010Security update for SharePoint Foundation 2010 (KB4493187)
SharePoint Server 2010Security update for SharePoint Server 2010 (KB4493178)
SharePoint Server 2010Security update for SharePoint Server 2010 (KB4486736)
SharePoint Server 2010Cumulative update for SharePoint Server 2010 (KB4493184)
SharePoint Server 2010 Office Web AppsSecurity update for SharePoint Server 2010 Office Web Apps (KB4493183)

Malware Isn’t Just For Windows Anymore – Fruitfly Is Hitting Macs Hard

This year’s cyber threat epidemic started with Windows, then spread over to Linux and third-party apps, and now is here for Macs. While the latest malware Fruitfly is targeting Mac computers, its malware library is also capable of running on Linux systems. 

Though it was recently found conducting surveillance attacks, it’s possible Fruitfly has been infecting Mac systems for over two years. It appears that the base code of Fruitfly is over a decade old, which begs the question: how can decade-old malware start breaching systems now? Haven’t our systems been updated over the last ten years?

It seems the Fruitfly developers have reused old code and modified it to give this malware extra power and capabilities. This cross-platform malware uses old APIs, but if there are any changes in the API, it will break the legitimate program to maintain reverse compatibility as long as possible. Fruitfly may have escaped detection for a long time because it appears that its creators have intentionally limited how many computers it targets. And since Mac systems don’t usually face as many threats as Windows, many administrators have been more lenient with patching their Macs, leaving them vulnerable to attacks such as Fruitfly.

You can identify Fruitfly infections by detecting suspicious network traffic. A file integrity monitor or log analyzer can help you identify an attack on your network, but a breach could be avoided altogether by keeping your systems up-to-date. Since most enterprises comprise different operating systems, it isn’t advisable to employ a separate patching tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The smarter alternative would be for an enterprise to employ a multi-platform patch management solution that helps update every computer from a single console. However, there are only a few solutions on the market that even support third-party patching, and even less that provide complete control over all enterprise devices, including mobile devices

These last few months have already given security professionals a lot to cover, and since cyber attacks are evolving at rapid rate, its high time enterprises maintain endpoint security by keeping their systems up-to-date. The best way to do this is to employ a patch management solution to stay safe from future ransomware and malware. One such solution is ManageEngine’s Desktop Central.

Desktop Central is integrated desktop and mobile device management software. This multi-platform solution helps automate your overall patch management process, and also has some other enhanced features to help secure your networkDownload ManageEngine Desktop Central Now and keep your Windows, Mac, Linux and all your third party applications completely safe and up-to-date. 

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.

Microsoft Security Updates Guide (Portal)

For the last 20 years, Microsoft has provided security bulletins as individual web pages which were available from the Microsoft Security Bulletin website, and January 10, 2017 was the last time this was made available. Going forward starting in February 2017, the new Security Update Guide portal will provide the security information via a dashboard. Knowledge Base (KB) number, CVE number, vulnerability, Windows version, or date of release can be searched on the online Security Update Guide (SUG) database.

According the the blogpost by the MSRC Team, using the new portal, you can:

  • Sort and filter security vulnerability and update content, for example, by CVE, KB number, product, or release date.
  • Filter out products that don’t apply to you, and drill down to more detailed security update information for products that do.
  • Leverage a new RESTful API to obtain Microsoft security update information. This eliminates the need for you to employ outdated methods like screen-scraping of security bulletin web pages to assemble working databases of necessary and actionable information.

If you have any feedback, you can send them to: portalfback@microsoft.com.

Follow me (@Hoorge) on Twitter and join Tech Konnect on Facebook and Twitter (@TechKonnect) to stay current on technology related matters.