back to article GCHQ grants security clearance to Samsung's Knox mobe security

The official containerisation solution for security on Samsung phones and tablets has passed muster with GCHQ. It’s now deemed safe enough for UK government employees to get a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3 S4 or Galaxy S5 all of which run the Korean firm's KNOX software. This is only to the OFFICIAL (PDF) level of security. This …

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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Double edged sword

    So any individual, company or government agency in the world should now assume the phone and its manufacturer are fully cooperating with GCHQ and their masters at Fort Meade.

    Might not be the global sales boost that Samsung were expecting

  2. NoneSuch
    Big Brother

    GCHQ Approved - No one but us can read the contents.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Who's Us Cybele? The GHCQ and the NSA? or were you talking about yourself? I'm with Yet Another Anonymous coward on this I'm not sure I'd trust these Guys as far as I could spit a Snowden...

  3. James Boag

    Knox Uninstall

    This product has now been officially compromised !

  4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "Android solutions"

    Aren't people tired of marketspeak from 10 years ago? In an Android solutions, is Android the solute or the solvent? What is the concentration?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "Android solutions"

      Presumably the solution to Android is iOS - in the same way that Imodium is "Diarrhea Solutions"

      1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

        Re: "Android solutions"

        Presumably the solution to Android is iOS - in the same way that Diarrhea is "Imodium Solutions"

        There, FTFY.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Now pay attention El Reg

    Q's kit is an ordinary looking Sony Xperia with a few minor modifications.

  6. Lamont Cranston

    I'm glad to see that Samsung have applied Knox to their Galaxy S range.

    I'd hate to think of Civil Servants being issued with anything other than flagship devices by their employer.

    Trebles all round?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What GCHQ really mean ..

    "GCHQ grants security clearance to Samsung's Knox mobe security"

    Translation: GCHQ have a backdoor into Samsung's Knox mobe security ..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It’s worth noting that Windows Phone 8 has not passed the testing requirements."

    I guess it's not worth noting the status of the iPhone, or did they not even bother testing it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The iPhone has had government approval for some time now. The Register don't bother with reporting things like that because, lets face it, it's just kind of expected. Big news for Samsung though. Now they can put their big boy pants on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It’s worth noting that Windows Phone 8 has not passed the testing requirements.""

      If you read why - it's relatively minor things, and a number of those gaps are already closed by WP 8.1

      Personally I would view WP 8 or 8.1 as a far more secure device than anything running Android - regardless of the above box ticking process that has been completed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Personally I would view WP 8 or 8.1 as a far more secure device

        And yet, bizarrely, that isn't enough for GCHQ. Don't they know who you are?

        >> regardless of the above box ticking process <<

        yeah, and if you stopped ticking that box we could see your handle, your previous posts, and at least have a chance of being able to work out whether your opinion is worth anything. At the moment your endorsement is meaningless.

  9. John Tserkezis

    KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

    I have one of the many note 3's where even in it's virgin form (straight from factory reset) KNOX complains of intrusions. Fucking constantly.

    At least Microsoft has the courtesy of allowing you to disable it's own "security".

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

      "even in it's virgin form...KNOX complains of intrusions"

      Maybe that is telling you something important about how buggy the pre-installed (and store?) apps are in terms of not poking where they should not be?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

        Or maybe telling you about how crappy and insecure the underlying Android OS is to require a bolt on like Knox in the first place?

    2. UKHobo

      Re: KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

      by design - all devices 100% secured by being rendered 100% unusable

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

      "At least Microsoft has the courtesy of allowing you to disable it's own "security"."

      Erm - no - no they don't. WP always has full device encryption / secure boot.

    4. Peter 48

      Re: KNOX is a buggy piece of shit.

      funny, I have the same unaltered Note3 and haven't heard a peep from knox nor have I bothered to activate it either. Sounds like operator error more than a problem with the software to me.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Of course this will not stop the most common data compromise scenario.

    The civil servant that leaves it (switched on) on the train going home.

    But then nothing will.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    List X restrictions.

    BYOD is purely and simply not an option for list X companies. The HMG Manual of Protective Security (or Security Policy Framework if you like nu-speek) has a whole folder devoted to the DON'Ts and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO's in relation to ICT. Mobile electronic devices are a particular area of paranoia, justified or not, which state a requirement for physical separation of non-approved electronic devices from ICT equipment containing data marked "secret" or higher. This has been getting progressively more restrictive during my time working in a List X, tantamount in my opinion to insidious constructive dismissal. Feels like it's only a matter of time before I'm forced to strip, shower and don approved apparel prior to the start of my working day. But the company must comply with whatever (ludicrous) restrictions are passed on to them by HMG if they wish to continue enjoying the Queen's shilling.

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