Product piracy and IP theft are among the greatest challenges to the industrial sector today. In 2014 alone, German customs officers seized six million products with a total value of almost 140 million Euros . Roughly 70 percent of companies in Germany are affected by product or brand piracy, according to the German Engineering Federation's (VDMA) most recent study . The estimated damage: almost eight billion Euros every year.
Reverse engineering plays a key role in this. "Pirates can often replicate unprotected machines in just a few weeks," says Bartol Filipovic , who is developing counterfeit protection mechanisms at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) in Garching.