Intel Is Stockpiling Legacy Technology For Security Research

James Rundle writes via the Wall Street Journal:

A few years ago, executives at Intel began to realize they had a problem. The company was making dozens of new products each year, from chips to software platforms, but it didn’t have a formal method for cataloging and storing older technology so engineers could test it for security flaws. […] Intel’s answer to this conundrum was to create a warehouse and laboratory in Costa Rica, where the company already had a research-and-development lab, to store the breadth of its technology and make the devices available for remote testing. After planning began in mid-2018, the Long-Term Retention Lab was up and running in the second half of 2019. The lab gives Intel, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and has more than 100,000 employees, a centralized, secure location where security tests can be run from anywhere in the world. Access to the building is strictly controlled and approved by senior managers, while surveillance cameras watch the equipment at all times. Even its location is secret – Intel representatives declined to say where exactly it is.

The lab brings commercial value to Intel, [said Mohsen Fazlian, general manager of Intel’s product assurance and security unit.], citing company research that shows customers are more likely to buy technology from manufacturers that proactively test their products. […] The lab has changed Intel’s product development. All new technology is now built with the facility in mind, with technical documentation created to allow engineers to support it for up to 10 years, and units are sent to the lab before they are released, Mr. Fazlian said. “Hopefully, I will never find myself searching eBay for Intel hardware again,” he said.

1 Like