U.S. Government approves Samsung Galaxy devices for classified use

Samsung Electronics announced its solutions have been approved by the United States government as the first NIAP-validated consumer mobile devices to handle the full range of classified information. After completing ten Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs), the government added the 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 and the Galaxy IPSEC Virtual Private Network (VPN) Client to the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) Program Component List.

This accomplishment is the direct result of Samsung’s successful testing and certification under the U.S. government’s Common Criteria Mobile Device Fundamental Protection Profile (MDFPP) and VPN Protection Profile (VPNPP) programs. The listed Samsung devices are available for use with classified government networks and data. All devices and capabilities incorporate security features powered by Samsung KNOX.

“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.”

Earlier this year Samsung mobile devices were officially included on the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Department of Defense Approved Products List for Sensitive But Unclassified use. The CSfC list for high security solutions supplements the DISA listing, enabling the U.S. government and its contractors to create composed solutions meeting the full range of U.S. government security objectives. Samsung is the only manufacturer with mobile devices on both lists.

Source: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack

U.S Government Intelligence. The oxymoron that keeps on giving.

Why would the U.S. government choose an insecure mobile operating system on devices from a South Korean convicted infringer of a U.S. company’s patented intellectual property over said U.S. company’s vastly more secure products?

Could it be due to the fact that Google has already inserted some U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) code into Android while Apple does not accept code from any government agencies for any of their operating systems or any other products?

Nah, couldn’t be. That doesn’t make any sense at all. I must be craaazzzy!

I long for a simpler time. A saner time. A time when rewarding foreign companies that have been convicted of repeatedly and blatantly stealing intellectual property from U.S. companies with contracts financed with U.S. taxpayer money would be utterly unthinkable, not rubber-stamped.

Along with U.S. taxpayers who value their hard-earned money, any U.S. representative worth his or her salt should be livid right about now. That only one or two might be (if we’re even that lucky), is a pitiful testament to the absolutely clueless, generally moronic, and largely worthless dreck that fouls the houses of the U.S. Congress today.

Will some U.S. Congressperson or Senator finally luck out and stumble into a clue, then stand up and ask WTF is really going on here?

If not, a plague on both your houses, you unpatriotic fools.

U.S. citizens, contact your U.S. congressperson here.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

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      1. They are not morons, Samsung has lobbied hell out of Washington via legalized bribes system that corrupted it all in and out.

        Finance campaign reform is the only solution. All elections has to be funded only by public funds, and not by convicted corporations or just rich guys who are oligarchs of today (Kochs, Adeleson, Soros or whoever else).

        1. It is not Samsung getting this, it is GOOGLE. They are the governments favorite. Apple does not buy politicians, Google does. Not Samsung, all droids will be approved. You people are children MDN

  1. What in gods name the U.S. Government is thinking ..
    Put extremely sensitive information in hands of a Korean phone manufacture …..knowing the operation system doesn’t work….but
    Good luck….
    Just remember made in USA …
    This very bad judgement …..

    1. No no no! Samsung knows how to securely store your secret or personal information on their servers: You know the servers they had to clean up after the lawyers put their “eyes only” documents on them and the contents showed up in conversations between senior Samsung officials and other third-parties? Yeah, those servers… surely Samsung has that side of the house in order now!


    2. Back in 2008-09 we were promised that this would be the most transparent administration ever.

      At last it will happen! KNOX will make classified information available to everyone, and we’ll finally be able to read all of Lois Learner’s emails.

      1. I don’t think these kind of decisions are made by the political appointees.

        This is decided by the people who are there regardless of which party is in power. These are those armies of Civil Servants, who don’t really care if the leadership is of one party or the other, but have only one goal at the end of the day — self-preservation. If some money comes their way from a manufacturer who wants a leg in the door, they’ll figure out a way to make the transaction possible, while maintaining the perceived “transparency” of the government procurement system.

        Neither political party has even bothered to look into the cleanup of this.

        1. I wasn’t pointing at bureaucrats or the procurement system.

          I’m amused (and appalled) by choice of a demonstrably insecure system to provide security of government information–which translates to unintended transparency of government information!

  2. For once I can actually agree with something you’ve said regarding the US government. Usually the kind of extreme-right, vitriolic, partisan poison spewed by writers on MDN makes my stomach churn.

    But I agree with the take here 100%. We might not agree on WHAT the government needs to be doing a lot of the time, but it’s damn sure that it needs to be doing something other than decreasing our national security in multiple ways all at once with this kind of bone-headed decision.

      1. And this demonstrates my point superbly . Anyone who complains of the ridiculous hate-filled speech accepted as common practice on this site must by default be an Oabama-loving, left-wing extremist and be subjected to unfounded petty and immature name-calling. I’d buy you a clue if I thought you’d know how to use it.

        1. No, botvinnik is not a hypocrite. He actually seems to believe what he espouses on an all too frequent basis on this forum. But botvinnik does not have to be a hypocrite to be wrong. Sometimes he is funny, other times he just seems to be whacking the hornet’s nest to see what happens.

          I don’t know what your raison d’être is, anonymous j.eric.

            1. Endlessly raging about politics in the end just makes you prematurely senile. And Rupert Murdoch already owns the world’s largest adult care franchise. He’ll even offer you a reverse mortgage to help cover bed fees. You really shouldn’t make it this easy for him but if that’s your bag then rage on I guess.

            2. The US Government approves a foreign-made, NSA approved Slungdung device. In a constitutional republic, representatives are elected by the people to negate the traitorous behavior of the US “security” agencies. Politics is how the voter selects their representatives. I submit you are the one suffering from dementia.

              This concludes today’s installment of American Civics 101. You’re welcome.

            3. Thank you. Please write a letter to your congressman wherever you are. Wish you could have written mine.Your words will hit right where they should at this point. Have a guy here in Florida whose family bought him the election. They happen to be neighbors and he lives with Mommy and Daddy, give you a hint his initials are PM😄

      1. It’s hypocritical to abhor the extreme right-wing hate-speech espoused on this site but still agree that the US Federal government is being ridiculously naive to approve Samsung devices for use with classified and confidential materials? How so, exactly?

    1. I agree with you and the MDN take, but we need to also take Apple to task for not at least attempting to go through the same process that Samsung went through, or at least clearly explain why they won’t/can’t. Despite (popular?) opinion on this site, certification to work with U.S. classified systems is a huge deal both from an addressable market standpoint and a marketing standpoint. Many large commercial firms do serious business with the military and federal government. If only Samsung’s devices allow interoperability, this could ruin Apple’s designs on major segments of the enterprise market.

      I wonder if part of the certification process requires inspection of source code, which is not a problem for Android but a very big problem for iOS.

      1. Just because someone has a “contact” with the Government, doesn’t mean it’s all wine and roses..

        Could be as simple as Apple not wanting to turn over the code to OS X (or let Gov Officials go through it at least)
        Or the not wanting to insert code to allow Gov access to OS X (see the link Stevejack lists in the MDN response)

        We don’t know the reason, and honestly.. I don’t care. Apple doesn’t have to explain anything to me about them not having a Gov Contract.

        My parents owned a Yamaha dealership for many years and had a “deal” with our Air Force base here for years. Repairing their ATV’s and getting parts for them. (regardless of brand)
        Well the Base got new leadership and demanded there be an official “contract”. Wow.. the shit they wanted us to do… total BS.
        The base ended up going with another dealer, who told us after they got the contract… they wanted out.. The hoops they went though never stopped.

        Bottom line: Government contracts are a pain in the ass..

  3. Another reason to vote for ANYONE not a Democrat. Clueless, expensive, inept BIG GOV Progs is precisely what needs to be scaled back on Election Day.

    The mouthing people pretenders have nothing to help the U.S. You’re FIRED!!!

    1. Spooks and other US security workers will be spotted in the field using Apple iPhones and iPads …under the BYOD program! Funny to think about. The NYT can write an exposé on it.

    1. For newbies who care: My POV is that it’s time to kill off both the ‘Republican’ AND ‘Democrat’ parties as both have sold themselves to anyone with the most money to throw at them. This is a rule of our Corporate Oligarchy and of course the wealthy 1%. This is no longer the USA of We The People.

      No propaganda in either direction is welcome. Only sane restoration of actual representative “government of the people, by the people, for the people” (thank you President Lincoln!) is welcome in the USA. 😀

      1. This was exactly my point. I simply pointed out that most of the vitriol spewed on this site when polocitcal arguments break out is decidedly far-right. For that I’m branded an Obama-loving idiot. heh. I think it’s time to “think different” and leave the partisan poison on some dark, unused shelf.

        1. There are a *few* on the “far right” that do take things way too far…
          but there are MUCH more on the left that tend to start that shit.

          Just look at *any* article that mentions Rush in the title, sit back and watch the shit being thrown.

        2. There are lots of explanations for why people jump to ridiculous, brain dead conclusions. It’s a matter of studying human behavior both individually and en masse. All I figure a person can do is speak their opinion and point of view to the best of their ability.

          It’s rare that anyone’s word changes someone else’s opinion. But I like to have say that at least someone spoke up and didn’t cower as little sheeple headed into the abattoir. We’re social beings because we rely upon one another to sustain and improve the whole. Personal responsibility means each of us doing our part to contribute the best of ourselves to that whole. That means speaking up when we see negative that we want turned positive, to be generic.

          As for those who want to turn positive into negative, to hell with you. Go get therapy. You’re sick.

    1. Total rubbish suznick. If the USA is going to be restored to an actual government of We The People, Edward Snowden and many more like him are sources of sanity that reveal the criminal, treasonous, unconstitutional nature of what’s going on within #MyStupidGovernment.

      So please, go move to North Korea where they appreciate the clueless and deceitful.

      1. Why didn’t he stay here like a true patriot. He chose to run rather than stand up to his convictions and work to change the system. A true coward, he put our country in jeopardy and ran away to hide. Good intentions perhaps, but still a traitor. Where did he run to?

        1. I entirely disagree with his judgement concerning:
          1) Going to Hong Kong of all places.
          2) Ignoring invitations from Iceland.
          3) Accepting the invitation from Russia, a blatantly criminal nation well below even the decayed ethical level of the current rendition of the USA. Outrageous!

          But that’s not cowardice. It’s just stupidity. Meanwhile, I entirely applaud what he revealed.

          Going OT: I will equally applaud whoever decides to do an exposé on what really happened on 9/11. But that subject apparently has to wait for another day.

          (Here come the flames…)

            1. It was up to him what to do. He’s alive in a really messed up country. He has to live with that. But then again, he’s free to use his freedom of speech and not suffer cruel and unusual punishment from the crooks in my country who’d live him dead.

              I’m simply glad the crimes are out in the open. That’s where the belong. Thank you to all whistleblowers. I’ve been in your shoes regarding far less significant muck raking, obviously. But I know what it’s like to be persecuted for putting truth into public despite the hatred of those in power. It’s what maintaining personal freedom is all about. And I’ll spare everyone the national anthem.

      2. And what would “an actual government of We The People” look like, Derek? Would it have elections or will it be a kind of market square gathering every day in cities across the US to debate and vote on everything?

        1. I know what you mean: The Committee Syndrome (or some such name).

          I’m perfectly happy with the USA as specifically designated by the forefathers, with of course all the constitutional amendments as they were intended. IOW: No corporate personhood, etc. I’d also dump the ridiculous antique called the ‘Electoral College’. I’d institute two term limits in ALL cases as a method of attempting to get back to the concept of representation as intended by the forefathers. No professional politicians, just short term service as intended.

          Obviously, this is a difficult subject. But dumping the ‘party mentality’ would be essential as it’s decayed into utter stupidity and corruption. Instead, actual, real representation would be required where there are no parties, just representatives. (Like that could happen). Set a requirement to run. Have each candidate prepare a platform. Once they get into office, have them form coalitions as per usual human behavior, but have NO party lines. IOW: The closest you’d get to a party is an association with one’s county, state, region, resource interests, etc. No more central office of propaganda distribution for each party each week setting the immediate tone of blahblahblah. Instead, something closer to a cacophony of opinion, forcing actual communication and collaboration in order to get anything done.

          Note of course that I have my point of view and others have theirs. But that’s my dream for today. Hack away at it, that’s fine with me because I certainly am no political analyst. I’m trained as an animal behavior analyst, which is a bit different overall.

          I’m also very sleepy right now. 😉

          1. I would add onto that with: no retirement packages, other than social insecurity. Which didn’t last too long in the unaffordable care pact.

            And pay back the two loans the government took from Social Security, one of which was used to start Medicare, wasn’t it?

            1. I don’t know the history of taking from Social Security to pay of OTHER things. But I recall the protests from Senators maybe 20 years ago about the raping going on, worthless poliTarditians mixing the federal budget with Social Security when the two are entirely separate.

              I know there’s plenty of pull vs pull to feed the entitlements vs feed the military. Both pulls have contributed to blowing the national debt beyond comprehension, the majority being from the feed the military side. It’s the behavior of children, not adults.

              Anyway, no for-life upon end of term anything would be great. Serving the country in an elected or appointed role is about serving the country. It’s not about serving SELF or the wealthy / Corporate Oligarchy overlords. That was the original idea, and I like it fine.

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