FBI requests 26,500 licenses for Samsung Knox 2.0 software

The FBI should soon have a year’s worth of Samsung Knox software licensing coming its way for thousands of devices, according to a FedBid solicitation filed Monday.

The order requests 26,500 licenses for Samsung Knox 2.0, the latest in the company’s line of enterprise mobile security solutions, which allow users to seamlessly switch from personal to work modes without a reboot. Samsung announced the software update in May at the Mobile World Conference to be used on the Galaxy S5, though it is operable on older devices.

And the S5 is exactly what the FBI plans to use the license for, according to the bidsheet, which requests a vendor to “provide Samsung Knox Licenses to the FBI (current version 2.0) for use on Samsung Galaxy S5.” However, the request did not specify if the agency has a stockpile of Galaxy S5 phones or if it intends to order them in the near future. The FBI did not respond for comment prior to publication.

The FBI isn’t the first agency to give its support to Samsung Knox, BlackBerry’s major competitor for enterprise mobile security in the federal government. Last year, the Defense Department allowed the use of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the initial release of Knox, and this May, it approved the use of Knox 2.0 on Android’s 4.4 operating system, better known as KitKat, according to the Defense Information Systems Agency.


Samsung’s release of Knox and agencies’ approval of it serve as major boons to federal mobility, allowing users to securely use mobile devices — no longer limited to BlackBerrys — for more than just work by building separate virtual containers for different locations and purposes. And when used on the S5, the security solution features another level of security with biometric finger scanning for accessing sensitive information.

The FBI is seeking the licenses for a 12-month period from the lowest bidding vendor.

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