Seagate, IBM to Help Fight Product Counterfeiting With Blockchain Technology


Seagate will update IBM Blockchain Platform on IBM Cloud with product authentication data based on the Seagate Secure eID at the point of manufacture

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in data storage solutions, and IBM have announced that they are working together to reduce product counterfeiting using blockchain and security technologies.

The project, which is designed to help manufacturers, integrators, and business partners fight counterfeit hard drives, uses the IBM Blockchain Platform to authenticate the provenance of disk drive products, bringing a new level of multi-layered security protection to the data management industry.

According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, global trade in counterfeit and pirated electronic products has reached more than $1.7 trillion in value.

How this collaboration will help reduce product counterfeiting  

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.

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.

Building upon IBM’s blockchain expertise and powered by the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric distributed ledger framework, 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. This can help reduce data loss, fraudulent products and warranty costs, while improving product assurance for customers during deployment.

A combined effort to address a global issue

“Blockchain technology can be extremely effective in confirming provenance and authenticity of assets,” said Bruce Anderson, global managing director, electronics industry, IBM.

He continued, “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.”

Anderson pointed that 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, shared that by combining Seagate’s innovations in product security with IBM’s blockchain expertise, they can help reduce the incidence of product counterfeiting.

As project development continues in this combined effort to fight global product counterfeiting, Seagate and IBM are anticipating that they will expand the business network to include participation from supply chain partners.