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IBM works with Seagate to put hard disks on the blockchain

IBM and Seagate announced a partnership on Thursday to use blockchain to track and authenticate hard drives. Using Big Blue's blockchain platform and Seagate security technology, the goal of the partnership is to build a system that addresses counterfeit hard disks and helps ensure compliance and security of hard disks for organizations that rely on to them.

Both IBM and Seagate emphasize the continuing threat of counterfeit components to electronic supply chains. Furthermore, positively identifying an electronic component as a counterfeit is a difficult task, especially since OEMs are often reluctant to release specific data about their products.

In the blockchain procedure, the secure and encrypted database architecture. Blockchain records and links all transactions on a tamper-proof register distributed across multiple parties, creating an immutable gold record of timestamp transactions for any product that is purchased and sold. In the supply chain, blockchain is used as a means of increasing transparency, adding visibility and improving the supply chain economy.

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To apply this technology to the hard drive lifecycle, companies will combine IBM's blockchain platform with advanced fingerprints and Seagate product monitoring to demonstrate the origin of hard drives.

In particular, Seagate will update the IBM blockchain platform with data based on Seagate's electronic ID (eID) at the point of production. Meanwhile, Seagate's cryptographic erasing technology will produce a digital data-deletion certificate, which is electronically signed by the device under Seagate's public key infrastructure and stored on the blockchain for compliance with global privacy laws.

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"The ability to work with Seagate to combine the blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets this work apart and points to the potential of the blockchain to reimagine the lifecycle management processes of electronic products," said Bruce. Anderson, general manager, electronics industry, IBM. "Counterfeit electronic components are a global problem that requires an ecosystem effort to address".

Big Blue has applied blockchain technology in various supply chain scenarios, including shipping, food and banking. IBM also filed a new patent earlier this week that could see Big Blue use the blockchain to safeguard and ring-fence physical positions during AR experiences.

While the development of this joint hard drive solution continues, Seagate and IBM have said they expect to expand the corporate network to include the participation of others in the wider electronic supply chain and bring the project for pilot use.

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