Samsung Knox Matrix: your fridge may soon help protect your smartphones

Martin Brinkmann
May 23, 2023
Mobile Computing

Samsung celebrates ten years of its Knox security platform this month. First introduced in 2013, Knox has evolved over the years into a security platform that is protecting "billions of consumers and businesses" according to Samsung.

Knox Matrix is the next big step for security and "Samsung's vision for a safer future" according to the announcement on Samsung's Newsroom website.

Knox Matrix

Knox Matrix
source Samsung

The main idea behind Knox Matrix is to move security from the device level to the ecosystem level. Instead of relying on protections for each device individually, Knox Matrix unifies security on the ecosystem level.

Samsung notes that more and more devices have connectivity, from smartphones and other mobile devices to televisions, refrigerators, solar panels or robot vacuum cleaners. More devices make for greater risks, as each individual device may have security issues that criminals may exploit.

While single-device protections will remain an essential part in security, Samsung believes that this form of protection is not well suited to keep up. Exploitation of one device in an ecosystem might lead to attacks against other devices that the customer or business owns.

Knox Matrix creates a trusted network that all devices that support the feature are connected to. If a device in the network is attacked successfully, Know Matrix will immediately isolate the device so that it can't be used to attack other devices in the same ecosystem.

Samsung claims that security gets stronger the more devices a user has connected to the trusted network.

Know Matrix offers three critical features that "ensure its success" according to Samsung:

  • Trust Chain makes devices monitor all other devices of a trusted network for threats.
  • Credential Sync protects user data while it is moved between devices.
  • Cross Platform SDK allows devices on multiple platforms to join Knox Matrix "with consistent security standards". Currently limited to Android, Tizen and Windows.

Knox Matrix uses a private blockchain "allowing compatible devices to check each other for breaches and ensure safety with intelligent threat monitoring".

Samsung admits that development is challenging, mainly because of the number of different types of products, operating systems and security standards. The company plans to alert users about "potentially unsafe situations", mentioning the use of old firmware specifically.

Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets will be the first to get Know Matrix support. First Knox Matrix models will be released in 2024 with support for all three features and the promise that more features will be added at later stages through updates.

Samsung home appliance devices will get support in the coming two or three years. Partner devices will also receive the option to include Knox Matrix into their products around the same time.

Closing Words

Samsung's Knox Matrix feature lands in 2024 in the first devices. Samsung did not mention whether older devices will receive Knox Matrix support as well, or if the feature is limited to new devices released in 2024 and later only.

As is the case with all security products, it has to get battle tested to find out how well its protective features work. It is an interesting idea, although limited to Samsung products and some partner products only.

Now You: what kind of protections do your mobile devices have?

Samsung Knox Matrix: your refrigerator may soon help protect your smartphones
Article Name
Samsung Knox Matrix: your refrigerator may soon help protect your smartphones
Knox Matrix promises to create a secure network of devices that protect each other from threats.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 24, 2023 at 9:43 pm

    “Knox Matrix creates a trusted network that all devices that support the feature are connected to. If a device in the network is attacked successfully, Know Matrix will immediately isolate the device so that it can’t be used to attack other devices in the same ecosystem.”

    Or maybe it will just be another attack vector ?

    “your fridge may soon help protect your smartphones”

    I was seriously considering that the title might be about storing connected devices in the fridge with the hope of preventing them from connecting…

  2. John G. said on May 23, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Samsung phones have low security, here it is the worst security flaw:

    – You has the phone with the sound on.
    – You lock the phone (black screen).
    – A thief/burglar thieves your phone, moves down the black locked screen and…

    >> he/she can leaves your mobile phone in silent mode using the plane mode icon, the sound icon and “don’t disturb” icon >>> three ways to make invisible your phone because no one can phone you anymore in order to locate the phone for the ring tone!!!!!

    – Solution: just removing those three icons above mentioned, so in case of being robbed, the thieve/burglar can’t move down the locked screen to show those icons!

    I hope you will understand it, in order to prevent massive security problem, because none of my friends believe me and I easily removed the sound of every Samsung phone.

    1. basingstoke said on May 24, 2023 at 12:44 pm

      Hey John what version of android have you tried because none of that is possible on my samsung phone. I typically use it without lock screen, but for testing purposes, I set a “pattern” lock which locks the phone after pressing power button briefly. None of the icons such as DnD or Aeroplane Mode are available when the screen is locked – and the volume buttons don’t change the volume either.

      So i don’t think this is an “android” issue in general as I’ve just got a standard samsung android phone.

      1. John G. said on May 24, 2023 at 6:37 pm

        @basingstoke, I have tested this issue with several Samsung models, my father’s one and some also of my friends, with several Android versions, even the latest v13 indeed. It’s very easy to reproduce this problem: with the screen locked you can scroll down and the phone will let you to see the fast icons and the hour (I think that it’s the upper menu when you can see the battery percentage, the mobile company and battery); those fast icons have so many options like WiFi, Airplane mode, sound and so forth. My version is Android 12 with the latest security update.

      2. basingstoke said on May 25, 2023 at 11:34 am

        Hi John, thanks for replying. Well I am sitting back here laughing at the state of things – I’ve got a samsung s4 mini running android kitkat 4.4.2, and none of those “vulnerabilities” are present in my phone. Must have been either a design difference, or something overlooked.

        Old phone = software locked down, but you can just pull out the battery or shut down the device
        New phone – software less locked down, but battery not removable and shutdown not allowed

        One step “forward” one step back?

  3. ECJ said on May 23, 2023 at 11:49 am

    “Samsung” and “security” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

  4. basingstoke said on May 23, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Knox is a cancer that has since it’s inception made it harder to put custom roms on samsung smartphones – not only that, it’ll stop you doing this, and make it impossible to revert to stock, so you’ll be stuck with a bricked motherboard.

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