IBM, Seagate partner on blockchain anti-counterfeiting project

IBM, Seagate partner on blockchain anti-counterfeiting project

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

Designed to help manufacturers, integrators, and business partners fight counterfeit hard drives, the project uses the IBM Blockchain Platform and Seagate’s “electronic fingerprinting” and product tracking to authenticate the provenance of disk drive products. This, say the companies, brings a new level of multi-layered security protection to the data management industry, and will help address the global trade in counterfeit and pirated electronic products, which has reportedly reached more than $1.7 trillion in value.

To verify product authenticity, Seagate will update the IBM Blockchain Platform on the IBM Cloud with product authentication data based on the Seagate Secure Electronic ID (eID) at the point of manufacture. Each unique identifier – serving as an electronic fingerprint – can be used to verify the identity of a hard drive at any time during its product life cycle.

Seagate’s Certified Erase employs cryptographic erasure technology to produce a digital certificate of data purge, which is electronically signed by the device under the Seagate Secure public key infrastructure (PKI) and stored on the blockchain for compliance management with emerging global data privacy laws.

The IBM Blockchain Platform is designed to allow network participants to append and view blockchain data based on their level of permissioning. Throughout a product’s life, technology vendors, service providers, and end users will be able to confirm the product’s provenance on the blockchain, which provides an immutable record of events.

“Blockchain technology can be extremely effective in confirming provenance and authenticity of assets,” says Bruce Anderson, global managing director, electronics industry, IBM. “The ability to work with Seagate to combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets this work apart, and signals blockchain’s potential to reimagine the electronics product life cycle management processes. Counterfeit electronic components are a global issue that requires an ecosystem-wide effort to address.”

Mark Re, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Seagate says, “IBM has a proven history of technology innovation as evidenced by its market leadership in blockchain technology for product provenance in various industries. By combining Seagate’s innovations in product security with IBM’s blockchain expertise, we want to prove that we can help reduce the incidence of product counterfeiting in the future.”

Both companies say they are anticipating that, as project development continues, they will expand the business network to include participation from supply chain partners.

Seagate Technology

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