Seagate to Verify Hard Drive Authenticity Using Blockchain | News & Opinion
How do you know if that Seagate hard drive you purchased is authentic? Now Seagate can check each storage device using a physical marker on the drive and an electronic key stored on IBM's blockchain.
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In order to reduce hard drive counterfeiting, there needs to be an easy way to prove the authenticity of a drive. That's difficult seeing as hard drives are a closed unit with the labels they use being fairly simple to reproduce. Seagate's solution to that problem is a new partnership with IBM and the use of its blockchain technology.
Understanding how blockchain works isn't exactly easy, which is why we made the video included below as an introduction. Blockchain is most readily associated with cryptocurrencies, but it also works as a more general purpose trust network that can be applied to any and all online transactions and for product security. Seagate is the latest company to use it in this way.
Going forward, Seagate drives will carry a Seagate Secure Electronic ID (eID) which is complemented by product authentication data stored on IBM's Blockchain Platform in the IBM Cloud. By doing this, at any time during the life of a drive its authenticity can be checked. Counterfeiters may attempt to copy the eID printed on each drive, but it won't have matching authentication data on the blockchain and there's no way for them to add it.
As well as drive authenticity, Seagate saw an opportunity to use the blockchain for another important purpose. Emerging privacy laws will require a guarantee of data erasure for hard drives used in certain sensitive settings. Seagate's Certified Erase uses cryptographic erasure technology to ensure full data deletion, but the deletion is also electronically signed using Seagate Secure. Once complete, the public key infrastructure produced by Seagate Secure is also stored on the blockchain proving it happened and the exact time of erasure.
Proving drive authenticity is important for consumers, but even more so for companies operating data centers and installing thousands of new drives on a regular basis. Being able to check a drive is authentic simply by scanning a code will save a lot of time while greatly increasing trust.