Something known is something people are aware of or know about. Don’t ask a known thief to walk your dog while you’re out of town, especially if she is known as the “Poodle Poacher.”
When you know something, it’s in your memory and awareness. When something is known, you know it! Technically, known is the past participle of know. Cigarettes are known to cause cancer. Martin Luther King is known as a hero to Americans. Cassius Clay is known as Muhammad Ali. If you stay out late and get in trouble, you should’ve known better. Something known is established, and people don't have reason to doubt it.