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Seagate Starts Blockchain Pilot for Hard Disk Authentication

Saad Ullah

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United States based technology giant Seagate has now started testing their blockchain system regarding authentication of their Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

Authentication through Blockchain

As previously reported, Seagate had teamed up with IBM to fight counterfeit computer hardware in the market. The partnership was done so that the hard disk manufacturer Seagate and PC manufacturer IBM could work together to fight the rise of fake hard disks that are low in quality and not only result in loss of data, but revenue to the original company.

The partnership is a unique set up, with Manuel Offenberg, the technology manager of Seagate’s data security research group saying IBM,

is both the customer of these drives, as well as the technology provider for the underlying Hyperledger Fabric platform

The blockchain, with its immutable nature and secure technology, will offer the manufacturer an authentic way to allow their users to verify the hardware they buy is real or fake. The hard disks will contain data regarding authentication code that in turn will be based off Seagate’s Secure Electronic ID. The ID creates a unique code that is embedded in the hard disk during manufacturing. Users will be able to use the embedded data to check against the decentralized data base to ensure their hard disk is genuine.

Personal Protection

Another advantage Seagate will be giving its customers is protection against risk of data theft when hard disks are returned under warranty. Normally, there is always a chance that some data is left on the disks and when returned, the data us vulnerable to theft. Seagate is offering a “certified erase” as a standard solution to the issue,

When a drive fills in a customer’s system and the drive comes back as part of its returns process, if we can prove that the drive was cryptographically erased, and therefore, the information is no longer on the device, then, from a risk perspective, this reverse supply chain can treat that device differently.

Offenberg further said that the company will be increasingly “involving the cryptographic identity of the device in the blockchain transaction, such that the digital trust of the product itself is part of the transaction.” This, according to him, include other plans of integrating in the supply chain, this time with backward integration in mind.

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