The Scotland international spent the day finalising personal terms at the Academy of Light, but will not be eligible for this evening's home game with Stoke City.
Hutton is the second defender to join Sunderland this month, with Matt Kilgallon also having joined from Sheffield United.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said: "We have been particularly short of defensive options of late so Alan will come in at a very opportune time and provide us with some vital reinforcement.
"We have tracked him for some time so we're delighted to have brought him here until the end of the season. I'm sure he will have a big part to play between now and May."
** READ MORE TRANSFER NEWS IN TOMORROW'S NORTHERN ECHO **