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Samsung’s Knox Devices Approved For Classified Use By US Government

Today, Samsung announced that its Knox-enabled devices are the first to be NIAP-validated and approved for classified use by the U.S. Government. The devices were added to the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) Program Component List, to be used by the NSA and other agencies that require an advanced level of security.

The list of approved devices includes: Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Tab S 8.4, Galaxy Tab S 10.5.

"The inclusion of Samsung mobile devices on the CSfC list proves the unmatched security of Samsung Galaxy devices supported by the KNOX platform," said JK Shin, CEO and president of IT and mobile business, Samsung Electronics. "At Samsung, we continue to address today's increasingly complex security challenges, and are committed to delivering the most reliable mobile platform satisfying the needs of professionals in all industries, from SMBs and enterprises to governments and additional regulated markets."

Early this year, Samsung's Knox devices were approved by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for unclassified but sensitive use on the Department of Defense' networks. The UK government has also recently approved Samsung's Knox smartphones for use by all government officials.

Early this year, Google announced that Samsung is going to contribute some of the Knox code to the next version of Android (that being Android 5.0), which will focus on the following major concepts:

  • Device and data security
  • Support for IT policies and restrictions
  • Mobile application management

In Android 5.0, we've already seen how Google plans to introduce data separation – by allowing users to create completely separate accounts. Because Android Lollipop comes with encryption out of the box, the data from all of these accounts will be encrypted and kept safe with verified boot technology. This technology is analogous to what Samsung is using with Knox.

Samsung's Knox devices should be able to maintain a lead in security with its support for ARM TrustZone hardware, unless other Android OEMs adopt similar technologies to protect their devices against tampering.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.