Report: Samsung delays release of Knox security software for Android

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Samsung Electronics will ship its Galaxy S4 smartphone without Knox, a Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based security solution designed to make the manufacturer's phones more suitable for business users.

Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Knox touts a three-pronged approach to device security including a customizable secure boot, ARM TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture and a kernel with built-in security enhancements for Android access controls. Samsung previously announced it would roll out Knox with the Galaxy S4, slated to reach AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) stores this weekend. Citing sources briefed on Samsung's plans, The New York Times reports the company has decided to delay Knox's release in order to continue testing the software internally and with its carrier partners. One source said Samsung now plans to launch Knox in July.

Samsung spokespeople confirmed Knox will not be available in time for the Galaxy S4 launch. "All the Knox framework components come standard on the device, with full-feature activation by solution providers and distribution channels to become available at a later date," the company said.

Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 in mid-March, stating Knox will protect users against malicious software and allow them to create separate digital spaces for users' work and personal content, similar to the BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) Balance technology introduced with the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The Galaxy S4 also features branded applications and services including Samsung Hub, Samsung WatchON, Samsung Apps, Samsung ChatON and Group Play.

Android security must improve for the platform to expand its enterprise footprint: Malware attacks on Android devices more than doubled in 2012, security solutions firm NQ Mobile reported earlier this month. NQ Mobile discovered 65,227 new pieces of mobile malware in 2012 compared to 24,794 in 2011, a year-over-year increase of 163 percent: Among all new malware discovered last year, 94.8 percent of threats were designed to attack Android, compared to just 4 percent targeting rival open-source platform Symbian. In all, more than 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012, up from 10.8 million in 2011, representing an increase of more than 200 percent.

For more:
- read this New York Times article

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