Seagate and IBM are using IBM's blockchain technology to verify the authenticity of a disk drive using their fingerprint.
The blockchain, er, drive unit is apparently a way for the company to tackle the problem of counterfeit or counterfeit HDDs. These can be sold online and are typically re-packed with old drive units with apparently higher capacities and speeds. Since they are older units, their duration will be shorter than new units and will have a capacity and / or a lower speed than the one labeled.
The idea is that Seagate will provide an electronic ID (eID) at the time of production and register it with the product authentication data on the IBM blockchain platform in its public cloud. The blockchain platform is powered by the Hyperledger Fabric distributed accounting framework of the Linux Foundation.
This eID blockchained can be updated during the life of the unit, for example with a digital data deletion certificate, electronically signed by the device in a Seagate Secure public protected key infrastructure (PKI). This would be stored on the blockchain for compliance management with the emerging global data privacy laws.
We are told that the eID blockchained provides an immutable record of disk drive events. It means that if a disc is offered for sale, its provenance could be authenticated in order to know if the 7,200 rpm unit EXOS 14TB is destined for a real and not cheap old 8TB disk at 5,400 rpm.
Seagate EID and IBM blockchain scheme
The theory seems good, but practice in the real world will depend on the cost and convenience of access. You would need help details from the seller to check them on the IBM blockchain platform and the seller may not be available, especially with online sales.
Big Blue and Seagate cited a statute from the International Coalition Against Counterfeiting, claiming that the global trade in counterfeit and pirated electronic products has reached over $ 1.7 trillion in value. We are not told in what proportion it is disk drive and we suspect it is a bit low.
Counterfeit units are undoubtedly sold, but we can not really see this pattern a little twisted that prevents this from happening. The control of the elimination of the compliance date could be useful where the verification is absolutely necessary, but how often will this happen?
In practice, buy units from authorized dealers or from the original manufacturer to avoid being discovered. ®