February 1, 2023


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Intel had to buy old processors on Ebay to test for vulnerabilities

Intel had to buy old processors on Ebay to test for vulnerabilities

Intel revealed This week, the company, in the absence of a solid set of historical hardware, had to turn to Ebay as a solution to access specific and older platform configurations. This happened a few years ago, when the company was researching bugs that affected several of the company’s products, including processor platforms that had long been taken off the market.

According to the Wall Street Journal, It was precisely the second generation processors, with the “Sandy Bridge” architecture, that Intel needed to purchase. These were on the market between 2011 and 2013.

Serious weaknesses?

Exactly what errors Intel should investigate, the company says nothing about. But it is reasonable to think that it is about Meltdown and Specter. It has now been more than four years since its discovery.

One of the things that Intel acknowledged from this experience is that the company has to maintain the various platforms that the company offers, as well as have a system that enables employees to track and locate their whereabouts.

2800 platforms – so far

So, in the second half of 2019, Intel created what the company calls the Long-Term Retention Lab. In practice, this is a warehouse building in Costa Rica, where so far the company can assemble more than 2,800 pallets. By platform in this context, is meant a system with, among other things, a particular CPU, OS version, microcode, and BIOS.

This includes everything from advanced servers and powerful computers to integrated systems used in the Internet of Things.

Part of the purpose is to have exactly the same platform available, for example, a partner or customer had problems with, but also to test upcoming updates for products that are still supported. The lab is open 24/7 in case anyone needs immediate access.

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2800 different platform is not enough. During 2022, that number will double to 6000 platforms over the past 10 years. At the same time, the plant area will be expanded from 1,300 to 2,500 square meters.