My Knox Is Dead. Long Live Samsung Secure Folder!

Samsung announced in June 2017 that they were killing off My Knox, replacing it with Samsung Secure Folder that ships with the Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus and Galaxy Note8 smartphones. Secure Folder is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones that have been upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat.

Samsung Secure Folder Kills & Replaces My Knox

Updated @ 2017-12-22 : Revamped the article, adding a migration guide, and a final email from Samsung.

Updated @ 2017-11-16 : Added a new email from Samsung with a confirmed end-of-service date for My Knox.

Originally posted @ 2017-06-07

 

Samsung Kills My Knox

Samsung Secure Folder Kills & Replaces My KnoxIn early June 2017, Samsung announced that they’re killing My Knox, and replacing it with Secure Folder. The end-of-life date was set for 19 December 2017.

Beginning 20 December 2017, the My Knox app would no longer be available to download from the Google Play Store. The My Knox portal will also be disabled – you won’t be able to login.

Samsung replaced My Knox with their new Secure Folder solution. They promise that it is a superior solution.

 

Samsung Secure Folder

Samsung Secure Folder is a new security solution that leverages the defense-grade Samsung Knox security platform to create a private, encrypted space on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone running on Android 7.0 Nougat or better.

It is available in the Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus and Galaxy Note8 smartphones, but can be downloaded and installed in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones that have been upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat.

Samsung Secure Folder Kills & Replaces My Knox

As no Mobile Device Management (MDM) is required, it is suitable for both personal and business usage. Apps and data can be installed or created within Secure Folder, or moved there from outside. Here are the additional details about Samsung Secure Folder :

  • Apps and data moved to Secure Folder are kept separate, leveraging SE for Android – preventing unauthorized communication between apps inside and outside Secure Folder.
  • Application data and files are encrypted with defense-grade Sensitive Data Protection (SDP) technology – using 256-bit AES cipher algorithm to secure data.
  • Data remains encrypted even after the user has exited Secure Folder or has turned off the device, and is decrypted when a user authenticates to access the Secure Folder. But keep in mind that Secure Folder authentication is just a gatekeeper to the encrypted data.

It can also be used alongside Knox Workspace, enabling two Knox container solutions at the same time. This allows users to have access to both a dedicated work environment (Knox Workspace), as well as a secure personal area (Secure Folder).

 

How To Migrate From My Knox To Secure Folder

Fortunately, Samsung made it easy to migrate your private data from My Knox to Secure Folder. Here are the steps :

  • Log into the My Knox app
  • Go to My Knox Settings, and select Backup and restore.
  • Backup your My Knox data (you’ll need a Samsung account to do this).
  • Install and setup Secure Folder, if you have not already done so.
  • Log into Secure Folder.
  • Go to Secure Folder Settings, and select Backup and restore.
  • Select Restore (using the same Samsung account), and you’re done!

if you are worried about the dangers of backing up your encrypted data to the cloud (it is encrypted!), you can use this alternative method :

  • Log into the My Knox app.
  • Copy the data out into the Samsung smartphone, or a secure computer
  • Install and setup Secure Folder, if you have not already done so.
  • Move the data into Secure Folder.

 

Samsung My Knox Termination Chronology

In early June 2017, Samsung sent out this email to all registered Samsung users :

First Samsung warning about terminating My Knox

This was followed by this email on 15 November 2017, revealing its end-of-service date as 19 December 2017.

Samsung confirms end-of-life date for the My Knox service

This final email was sent on 20 December 2017, noting that My Knox is now terminated :

The final Samsung email on the termination of the My Knox service

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5 Comments

  1. Joe Six Pack

    So let’s see. You have MyKnox and put sensitive info in there. And now you trust Samsung to back up your data to the cloud where they or anybody they sell it to can run offline attacks on your data without breaking your device.

    Hello?!

    Why isn’t there an option to back up to your own SD card? The SD card is not visible from MyKnox.

    Major fscking screwup. I hope you guys don’t quit your day jobs.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Adrian Wong

      Backup for Secure Folder is NOT enabled by default. You have to log into Secure Folder and manually enable it.

      Needless to say – backing up sensitive information to the cloud is not a good idea at all.

      From what I understand, that’s because it doesn’t function like “drive” but a container that allows apps to execute from within, as well as using it for file storage.

      Reply
  2. Alfred R. Strauss

    When I tried to download Secure Folder to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I received a message that Secure Folder isn’t compatible with my Galaxy Note 3.

    Is that true ?

    Is so, what can I use instead of Secure Folder to safeguard my phone data and information?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Adrian Wong

      Unfortunately, the Secure Folder app is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S7 series and above.

      I don’t know of any similar encrypted system like Secure Folder that would be available for your Note 3. Sorry.

      Reply
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