IBM and Seagate working on blockchain-based system to fight counterfeit hard drives

Lizzy Murray

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IBM and Seagate have officially announced a new collaboration aimed toward fighting counterfeit hard drives using blockchain technology.

IBM’s Blockchain Platform will be used to offer a superior solution for authenticating the provenance of hard disk drives to manufacturers, integrators, and business partners.

The project will update the IBM Blockchain Platform on IBM’s Cloud with product authentication data based on the Seagate Secure Electronic ID (eID). Seagate’s security solution creates a unique identifier when the product is manufactured which can be later used to identify hard drives. Another solution called “Certified Erase” will be provided by Seagate. According to the press release, “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.”

On top of Seagate’s security layers, the IBM’s Blockchain Platform is based on a Hyperledger-powered distributed ledger framework that allows various parties to add or edit blockchain data based on their provided level of access.

The blockchain platform will allow all parties to access a changeless record of events throughout the product’s entire life cycle.

IBM and Seagate’s solution is designed to reduce data loss, approve product assurance for consumers and to reduce warranty costs caused by counterfeit products.

Global managing director of electronics industry at IBM, Bruce Anderson declared:

“The ability to […] combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology […] signals blockchain’s potential to reimagine the electronics product life cycle management processes. Counterfeit electronics components are a global issue that requires an ecosystem-wide effort to address.”

IBM is constantly searching for new applications of blockchain technology. Since the end of August, the tech giant has the second position worldwide regarding the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date, the first being the Chinese giant company Alibaba.