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Monday, January 13, 2014
Samsung Denies Vulnerability In KNOX

Samsung has denied a reported vulnerability on a Samsung Galaxy S4 device with the KNOX security platform.

Last month, security researchers at Ben-Gurion University Cyber Security Labs said that they had identified a critical vulnerability in highly secure Samsung mobile devices which are based on the Knox architecture. The breach, researchers believe, enables easy interception of data communications between the secure container and the external world including file transfers, emails and browser activity.

Samsung said that after collaborating with Google and having discussed the research with the original researchers, the company has verified that "the exploit uses legitimate Android network functions in an unintended way to intercept unencrypted network connections from/to applications on the mobile device." Samsung said the research did not identify a flaw or bug in Samsung KNOX or Android; "it demonstrated a classic Man in the Middle (MitM) attack, which is possible at any point on the network to see unencrypted application data."

Samsung and Google said that such attacks can be prevented if apps are built to support Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. In additio, such issues can be addressed through the proper configuration of mechanisms available in Knox.

The configuration settings Samsung said would prevent the attack from working include Knox?s mobile device management feature, which can lock down security-sensitive device settings; and "per-app VPN", which forces traffic from a designated app through a VPN tunnel. KNOX implements a FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certified VPN client, a NIST standard for data-in-transit protection along with NSA suite B cryptography.

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