WISeKey Secures Over 2.5 Million Luxury Swiss Watches With Blockchain

WISeKey’s Watch Birth Certificate on the Blockchain Already Securing over 2.5 Million Luxury Swiss Watches

WISeKey International Holding Ltd a leading global cybersecurity company, announced that as one of the first cybersecurity companies in the world to use dual factor authentication combined with blockchain technology to secure luxury watches, currently protects over 2.5 million luxury watches.

Since 2010, WISeKey has partnered with manufactures of luxury watches, including Favre-Leuba and Hublot to integrate semiconductors tags powered with its VaultIC154 NFC secure element and provide brands with the ability of:

  • issuing a storage device comprising of a digital certificate of authenticity
  • checking, when required, the validity of the digital certificate of authenticity
  • modifying, when required, the status of validity of the digital certificate of authenticity.

These tags, when placed on any product and tapped by an NFC phone, securely authenticate and track the product much like an embedded ePassport and confirm the identity of the product on the BlockChain ledger.

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“WISeKey has long been recognized as a leader in providing luxury and other product manufacturers with reliable means to protect their brands against counterfeiting,” said Carlos Moreira, Founder and CEO of WISeKey. “With the addition of the WISeAuthentic BlockChain platform, we can now provide our clients with a powerful and unified way to shield their brands from the harmful effects of counterfeiting, while providing enhanced visibility into their end-consumers.”

WISeKey’s technology creates Watch Birth Certificates, digital identities which are analogous to birth certificates.  The Watch Birth Certificate is signed, or “certified” by a trusted authority and contains basic information such as date & time of manufacture (birth), company (parents), and type of product.  This IoT device, used throughout the watch lifetime, allows the watch to become a “Trusted Object” of the Internet, prove its identity and provide verifiable data.

The Watch Birth Certificate is based on a cryptographic public‑private key pair that is unique to each IoT device.  The public key for this key pair is part of the certificate and can be freely distributed, while the private key is used whenever the IoT device needs to verify its identity or to sign data to ensure cryptographic integrity. It is the private key that represents the essence of the identity of the IoT device.

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Purchasing an exclusive Swiss watch is always a matter of great joy and pride, but this purchase comes with the concern that the timepiece maybe stolen or that the watch itself may not be an original. While most high-end watch brands find it extremely difficult to stop such acts, Favre-Leuba has taken steps to protect its watches. Reliable methods include the use of cutting-edge software or blockchain technology, which together with on-the-ground measures can ensure the authenticity of the watch. Moreover, if the watch is stolen, it can be traced thus making it difficult to be traded on the secondary market. This control is possible to practice because the identity of each watch is stored on an immutable ledger in the implemented system.

In 2010, the first implementation of this innovative technology for watches, was based on a cryptographic key on a credit-card sized card and it was announced during the Baselworld 2010 event. Hublot partnered with WISeKey to present an electronic guarantee of its watches. Each watch leaving the factory was accompanied by a chip card, with the chip being activated once the watch left the factory. Once the watch was sold by a retailer, a second interaction with the chip automatically activated the guarantee.

An IoT device can be impersonated by compromising the device’s private key. To protect the watch against impersonation, the watch digital identity is protected using WISeKey’s VaultIC hardware that is specifically designed to keep the private key safe.  Hackers are very creative in their attacks to obtain private keys, so a specifically designed hardware to safely protect this identity, is essential.

In real world applications such as Blockchain, AI, and object‑to‑object communication, it is particularly important to keep the private key safe using the VaultIC.  A good example of object-to-object communication is case of the electric vehicle charging stations.  Carlos Moreira, WISeKey CEO pointed out, “The Watch Birth Certificate is unique, and cannot be duplicated nor counterfeited.  At the same time, the connection between the car and the plug requires the same level of authentication, to keep connections and related transactions safe.  Otherwise if a car connects to an unauthorized plug, the plug can transfer malware to the operating system of the car and allow hackers to later manipulate the car. WISeKey’s Birth Certificate provides the security needed to protect devices and users.”

WISeKey’s IoT Birth Certificates BLOG post on the Cybersecurity Tech Accord Signatory Blogs page provides additional insights on the parallels between IoT certificates and birth certificates.

This technology was then expanded to incorporate microprocessors installed on the watch or cards connecting the watch to the phone via NFC technology, the watch can be used as a unique personal key identifier and trusted device to access users’ smartphone, applications, and personal data and secured cloud storage. With this integration WISeKey technology offers a unique experience of interconnected objects and strengthens security while simplifying the user experience.

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WISeKey then started to integrate additional authentication and verification layers of security using decentralized blockchain identity which allowed buyers of the watches to control when, where and with whom they shared their credentials stored on their watches and authenticate these watches using a forgery-proof digital certificate of authenticity which follows the watch during its entire life recording the history of the watch on its identity and ledger.

This cutting-edge technology was implemented with Favre-Leuba AG, the second oldest Swiss watch brand that is renowned for its tool watches such as the Bivouac and Bathy, to authenticate and protect Favre-Leuba’s watches and their owners.

While most people consider BlockChain technologies as a vital component in securing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the cryptography and security inherent in the BlockChain system can be utilized for storing information, making transactions and performing functions for web-based services that demand high security requirements for an impenetrable global reach.

The WISeAuthentic Blockchain platform integrates the WISeKey Semiconductors tags based on the company’s VaultIC154 NFC secure element. These tags, when placed on any product and tapped by an NFC phone, securely authenticate and track the product much like an embedded ePassport and confirm the identity of the product on the BlockChain ledger.

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