Blockchain Service Cryptowerk Can Detect Data Tamperingbr>
Cryptowerk, a data integrity company using blockchain to authenticate digital assets, claims it has created a way to tell if tampering has occurred with a blockchain.
The service, called Cryptowerk Seal, is a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solution that creates an immutable seal for any form of digital assets. The cloud service writes digital hashes or “fingerprints” of the data to one or more blockchains at speeds of up to one million times per second, creating a tamper-proof chain of custody that can be used in large-scale enterprise applications.
With the digital hash, every product, process and transaction can now be matched to its original to verify proof of integrity.
“It’s no longer enough to know that your digital assets have been hacked. If you don’t know what’s been done to them, they’re essentially toxic,” said Dirk Kanngiesser, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cryptowerk. “Businesses must be able to verify that their data is unaltered and pristine. As a result, companies are able to do business with each other in a trusted and secure way.”
Cryptowerk Seal creates a digital hash of each asset, which is then stored on any public, private or hybrid blockchain. The original data stays private and is never transferred. Cryptowerk Seal aggregates hashes from multiple customers and then creates a “super-hash” or seal, which is written to the blockchain. The seal is returned to each customer who had a hash in it. Customers can directly verify the integrity of their data at any time, without using Cryptowerk Seal’s API. Using Cryptowerk Seal, internal software teams and software providers can easily implement a data integrity solution with no blockchain expertise required.
Dirk Kanngiesser, CEO and co-founder of Cryptowerk, answered some Block Tribune questions about the new service.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: In general, what are the tell-tale signs that data has been tampered with?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: There often are no obvious signs of tampering, which is why it’s so important to have a reliable method of determining whether the copy of the data you have matches the original.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: There was some controversy when Sony was hacked over whether the coding that indicated North Korean interference was real or a plant. Are there actors who try to plant the false information in instances like this?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: There may be instances of such things, but that’s not likely to be a use case for Cryptowerk Seal.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: In your estimation, how often is sensitive data tampered with?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: One study says that by 2020, 50 percent of organizations will have suffered damage caused by fraudulent data and software. One million people die annually after taking fake drugs, according to WHO estimates. Fraudulent goods are a $1.8 trillion a year problem. 15% of components in US armed services machinery are counterfeit. Counterfeits cost the US $600 billion.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are there currently any courts that accept blockchain evidence?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: The Chinese government recently ruled that blockchains are admissible as evidence in courts of law. Vermont passed a bill that creates a presumption of admissibility of blockchain records that meet certain requirements. Delaware is moving to use blockchains for corporate recordkeeping. Other states and countries are moving quickly to accept blockchain as evidence.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are all blockchains immutable? Or are there some better than others?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: No blockchain is immutable, but some are much more secure than others. The key function of a blockchain’s security is the number of nodes and decentralized control of those nodes. Bitcoin and Ethereum do well in those regards, but at the expense of cost and throughput. Private blockchains, typically with 16 or fewer nodes, are much less secure. Cryptowerk Seal as a default writes in parallel to Bitcoin and Ethereum, but thanks to our patented compression and cryptography algorithms, we’re able to write up to one million Seals to those blockchains per second.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Would we be able to trust a blockchain that originated from countries that sometimes have hostile relationships with the US, such as China?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: The key factors that determine your ability to trust a blockchain are the number of nodes in a blockchain and decentralized control of those nodes. If China or any country offered a blockchain with centralized control of a majority of the nodes, that blockchain by definition couldn’t be trusted.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Once you begin studying a database, how long does it take to determine whether it has been tampered with?
DIRK KANNGIESSER: If you use a service like Cryptowerk Seal to “fingerprint” (via an SHA-256 hash) the data at the time of creation and securely store that hash in blockchains, it takes only seconds to compare the original hash to a new hash. If they don’t match, you know your data has changed somehow. Without the knowledge that your data hasn’t been compromised, it’s essentially toxic to you.