NeuroTags Tech

Anti-Counterfeit techniques: why mass serial encryption method does not work?

Database ID technology vs. Mass Serial Encryption

Counterfeiting is an enormous problem, and it costs the world around $1.6 trillion every year. The problem is growing exponentially and is expected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2022. The counterfeiters have become sophisticated. They are able to beat many traditional anti-counterfeit techniques, making it very difficult for buyers to differentiate between genuine and fake products.

Most of the anti-counterfeit solutions available in the market are proving to be ineffective. One such ineffective technique is mass serial encryption method.

What is Mass Serial Encryption method?

We were amazed to hear about this word, as googling it didn’t get us any relevant results. Then after going through PRs of some of the companies and talking to companies which provide it, we realized, it is a way to encrypt the serial data assigned to the product item and passing it along to the receiver and then letting the receiver decrypt the data. Assuming the information or key required to decrypt is only available to the receiver; usually, it is present in the app provided by the company.

One crucial point missed out here by these companies is that, in practice, the counterfeiter will copy the data after encryption and will replicate across millions of items and will always be validated by the decryption app, without ever getting detected as counterfeit.

Database ID technology vs. Mass Serial Encryption method

All highly secured systems including banks, credit card issuers, SSN, Government Passport system (just to name a few) use Database ID technology to authenticate, monitor, and prevent a security breach.  Every time you make a phone call, send an email, or a text message, a database ID technology is used in the backend. It’s so widely used because it is fast and effective! Google’s BigTable, or the open-sourced MongoDB, HBase, and Amazon’s DynamoDB, can easily handle trillions of IDs efficiently.

Any code’s authentication done without a database is vulnerable to straight copycat.  And if their secret validation logic is breached, the entire system collapses, and worst, you won’t even know when it happens. This was a useful invention for the pre-internet era!  For example, you can generate a credit card number online using http://www.getcreditcardnumbers.com/, which will be considered valid by any offline rule-based algorithm.  Once you know the secret code generation logic, you can create any number of codes, and they will pass all authentication rules.

Imagine what will happen if banks only used this validation technique (Thankfully, they don’t!). Banks use their database to ID user and transaction because it’s proven!

NeuroTags works similarly.  Our ID is generated with the randomness that is equivalent to a grain of sand in the entire galaxy.  These codes then get one-way encrypted so that no one would know the original codes — the same way all highly secured systems, e.g., financial institutions, store your password — they never actually save your password, they only store the one-way encrypted hash code of it.

NeuroTags Anti-counterfeit solution

NeuroTags not only has the database code, but it also has the AI system to detect clones the way banks monitor the credit card usage patterns, any anomaly in scan pattern is marked as RED flag, and after a given threshold, system can automatically lock the codes, this detects clones with a very high probability. Together with the protected code, the probability grows to almost 100%.

The company would also see the complete history of the item-user interactions.  They also know which physical path the item has gone through, which warehouse, distributor., and so on. With the entire data trail, the company can prove whether it is a legit product or a counterfeit in case of legal litigation.

As described earlier, every credit card company currently monitors their cards’ activities to detect suspicious transactions.  NeuroTags operates on the same principle, tailored to the product activities. We employ customized, proprietary AI to perform anomaly detection.  We catch the suspicious patterns and feed it back into the system, so it continuously adapts and evolves, across products, across markets, and time. It is proven and effective.

In another example, imagine a lawsuit involving damages caused by the counterfeited product, a user may claim that he or she verified the code, perhaps the copied code. Without a database, you don’t know the code, and you don’t have a data trail, you don’t have any defense.

Please contact us to know about NeuroTags offerings.

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