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Category Archives: International Terrorism

Evidence Proving Russian KGB Hacks of Election Emerges Publically

What the folks in the US Intelligence Agencies knew all along about Russia and Trump collusion but never exposed publicly, has been released by the Dutch…Who actually hacked the Russian hackers.

This is just part of the information gathered by US and foreign Intelligence Services on Trump/Putin collusion, and the Russian effort to destabilize the US 2016 election in favor of their boy , the Chumph.

We also know that there are recordings of conversations between Chumph co-conspirators and Russian Intelligence are in the NSA’s hands. While the contents of such recordings are still classified, and as such we don’t know their contents – they are also likely in Mueller’s hands.And thanks to the criminal activity of Nunes, head of the House Investigation Committee in suborning information to protect the Chumph…None of that will be released to Congress.

This revelation comes from a Dutch Newspaper… Here is your “Smoking Gun”

With the release of information by the Dutch, several of the other countries’ Intelligence Services may step forward to release the information they collected.

Dutch agencies provide crucial intel about Russia’s interference in US-elections

Hackers from the Dutch intelligence service AIVD have provided the FBI with crucial information about Russian interference with the American elections. For years, AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear. That’s what de Volkskrant and Nieuwsuur have uncovered in their investigation.

It’s the summer of 2014. A hacker from the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD has penetrated the computer network of a university building next to the Red Square in Moscow, oblivious to the implications. One year later, from the AIVD headquarters in Zoetermeer, he and his colleagues witness Russian hackers launching an attack on the Democratic Party in the United States. The AIVD hackers had not infiltrated just any building; they were in the computer network of the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear. And unbeknownst to the Russians, they could see everything.

That’s how the AIVD becomes witness to the Russian hackers harassing and penetrating the leaders of the Democratic Party, transferring thousands of emails and documents. It won’t be the last time they alert their American counterparts. And yet, it will be months before the United States realize what this warning means: that with these hacks the Russians have interfered with the American elections. And the AIVD hackers have seen it happening before their very eyes.

The Dutch access provides crucial evidence of the Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic Party, according to six American and Dutch sources who are familiar with the material, but wish to remain anonymous. It’s also grounds for the FBI to start an investigation into the influence of the Russian interference on the election race between the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

‘High confidence’

After Trump’s election in May 2017, this investigation was taken over by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. While it also aims to uncover contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, the prime objective is bringing to light the Russian interference with the elections. An attempt to undermine the democratic process, and an act that caused tensions between the two superpowers to rise to new heights, bringing about a string of diplomatic acts of revenge.

Three American intelligence services state with ‘high confidence’ that the Kremlin was behind the attack on the Democratic Party. That certainty, sources say, is derived from the AIVD hackers having had access to the office-like space in the center of Moscow for years. This is so exceptional that the directors of the foremost American intelligence services are all too happy to receive the Dutchmen. They provide technical evidence for the attack on the Democratic Party, and it becomes apparent that they know a lot more.

Cozy Bear

It’s somewhat of a ‘fluke’ that the AIVD hackers were able to acquire such useful information in 2014. The team uses a CNA, which stands for Computer Network Attack. These hackers are permitted to perform offensive operations: to penetrate and attack hostile networks. It’s a relatively small team within a larger digital business unit of about 80-100 people. All cyberoperations converge here. Part of the unit is focused on intercepting or managing sources, while another team is dedicated to Computer Network Defence. In turn, this team is part of the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit, a collaborative unit of the AIVD and the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service MIVD, of about 300 people.

It’s unknown what exact information the hackers acquire about the Russians, but it is clear that it contains a clue as to the whereabouts of one of the most well-known hacker groups in the world: Cozy Bear, also referred to as APT29. Since 2010, this group has attacked governments, energy corporations and telecom companies around the world, including Dutch companies and ministries. Specialists from the best intelligence services, among them the British, the Israelis and the Americans, have been hunting Cozy Bear for years, as have analysts from major cybersecurity companies.

Vital information

The Dutch hacker team spends weeks preparing itself. Then, in the summer of 2014, the attack takes place, most likely before the tragic crash of flight MH17. With some effort and patience, the team manages to penetrate the internal computer network. The AIVD can now trace the Russian hackers’ every step. But that’s not all.

The Cozy Bear hackers are in a space in a university building near the Red Square. The group’s composition varies, usually about ten people are active. The entrance is in a curved hallway. A security camera records who enters and who exits the room. The AIVD hackers manage to gain access to that camera. Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who’s doing it. Pictures are taken of every visitor. In Zoetermeer, these pictures are analyzed and compared to known Russian spies. Again, they’ve acquired information that will later prove to be vital.

Rare battle

The Dutch access to the Russian hackers’ network soon pays off. In November, the Russians prepare for an attack on one of their prime targets: the American State Department. By now, they’ve obtained e-mail addresses and the login credentials of several civil servants. They manage to enter the non-classified part of the computer network.

The AIVD and her military counterpart MIVD inform the NSA-liaison at the American embassy in The Hague. He immediately alerts the different American intelligence services.

What follows is a rare battle between the attackers, who are attempting to further infiltrate the State Department, and its defenders, FBI and NSA teams – with clues and intelligence provided by the Dutch. This battle lasts 24 hours, according to American media.

The Russians are extremely aggressive but do not know they’re being spied on. Thanks to the Dutch spies, the NSA and FBI are able to counter the enemy with enormous speed. The Dutch intel is so crucial that the NSA opens a direct line with Zoetermeer, to get the information to the United States as soon as possible.

Back and forth

Using so-called command and control servers, digital command centres, the Russians attempt to establish a connection to the malware in the Department, in order to request and transfer information. The Americans, having been told by the Dutch where the servers are, repeatedly and swiftly cut off access to these servers, followed each time by another attempt by the Russians. It goes back and forth like this for 24 hours. Afterwards, sources tell CNN that this was ‘the worst hack attack ever’ on the American government. The Department has to cut off access to the e-mail system for a whole weekend in order to upgrade the security.

Luckily, the NSA was able to find out the means and tactics of their attackers, deputy director of the NSA Richard Ledgett states at a discussion forum in Aspen in March 2017. ‘So we could see how they were changing their methods. That’s very useful information.’ On the authority of intelligence services, American media write that this was thanks to a ‘western ally’. Eventually, the Americans manage to dispel the Russians from the Department, but not before Russian attackers use their access to send an e-mail to a person in the White House.

Fake e-mail

He thinks he’s received an e-mail from the State Department – the e-mail address is similar – and clicks a link in the message. The link opens a website where the White House employee then enters his login credentials, now obtained by the Russians. And that is how the Russians infiltrate the White House.

They even gain access to the email servers containing the sent and received emails of president Barack Obama, but fail to penetrate the servers that control the message traffic from his personal BlackBerry, which holds state secrets, sources tell The New York Times. They do, however, manage to access e-mail traffic with embassies and diplomats, agendas, notes on policy and legislation. And again, it’s the Dutch intelligence agencies who alert the Americans about this.

Goldmine

Access to Cozy Bear turns out to be a goldmine for the Dutch hackers. For years, it supplies them with valuable intelligence about targets, methods and the interests of the highest ranking officials of the Russian security service. From the pictures taken of visitors, the AIVD deduces that the hacker group is led by Russia’s external intelligence agency SVR.

There’s a reason the AIVD writes in its annual report about 2014 that many Russian government officials, including president Putin, use secret services to obtain information. Recently, the head of the AIVD, Rob Bertholee, said on the Dutch TV program CollegeTour that there is ‘no question’ that the Kremlin is behind the Russian hacking activities.

Unprepared

The Americans were taken completely by surprise by the Russian aggression, says Chris Painter in Washington. For years, Painter was responsible for America’s cyber policy. He resigned last August. ‘We’d never expected that the Russians would do this, attacking our vital infrastructure and undermining our democracy.’

The American intelligence services were unprepared for that, he says. That is one of the reasons the Dutch access is so appreciated. The Americans even sent ‘cake’ and ‘flowers’ to Zoetermeer, sources tell. And not just that. Intelligence is a commodity: it can be traded. In 2016, the heads of the AIVD and MIVD, Rob Bertholee and Pieter Bindt, personally discuss the access to the Russian hacker group with James Clapper, then the highest ranking official of the American intelligence services, and Michael Rogers, head of the NSA.

In return, the Dutch are given knowledge, technology and intelligence. According to one American source, in late 2015, the NSA hackers manage to penetrate the mobile devices of several high ranking Russian intelligence officers. They learn that right before a hacking attack, the Russians search the internet for any news about the oncoming attack. According to the Americans, this indirectly proves that the Russian government is involved in the hacks. Another source says it’s ‘highly likely’ that in return for the intelligence, the Dutch were given access to this specific American information. Whether any intelligence about MH17 was exchanged, is unknown.

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Anderson Cooper Gets It on Haiti

I arrived in Haiti for the first time, shortly after the major News organizations had left to pursue other stories. They were still digging up bodies,

Now, I have travelled quite a bit on business to places I am sure are on the Chumph’s “shithole” list. Met some good folks, as well as some really bad folks.

What impressed me about Haiti is the people. You watch them and they are constantly moving. An automobile is a luxury item, so they walk. You don’t see guys standing on a street corner with a bottle of wine… They are poor as hell, but to my experience hustle to make a dime. Being poor isn’t a crime, and often is due to circumstance in the Third World.

Turns out Baby Doc, the last, late Haitian Dictator laundered money through Trump Towers.

 

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Not Just Election Hacking – Russia Banned From the Olympics

Lot of dirty going on in Putin’s Russia. Looks like Putin’s home team took a huge hit.

No problem…They can compete under the Trump flag, since they own it.

Russia’s Olympic Team Barred From 2018 Winter Games For Doping

A new report confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia.”

Russia’s Olympic team will not be allowed to compete in the 2018 Winter Games following the discovery that the country executed an elaborate program allowing athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs, including during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee Tuesday.

An IOC report confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia,” the organization said in a statement. The decision follows a 17-month investigation led by former president of Switzerland Samuel Schmid.

Official record books for the Olympics ― which will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next year ― will permanently show that Russia did not win any medals. However, individual Russian athletes will be able to compete wearing a neutral uniform, The New York Times reports.

Russian athletes who qualify will have to meet “strict conditions,” the IOC said in a release, that include drug testing that could go beyond normal Olympic standards. But the Russian flag will not fly, and the Russian anthem won’t play at the games.

Two top Russian officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, have been banned from Olympic involvement for life, while Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov’s IOC membership has been suspended.

The lawyer of Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory who peeled back the layers of Russia’s state-run doping program in a 2016 New York Times report, said in a statement Tuesday that the IOC’s decision sent a “powerful message.” Rodchenkov’s story is further explored in the Netflix documentary “Icarus”released earlier this year.

“As the world has seen, Dr. Rodchenkov provided credible and irrefutable evidence of the Russian state-sponsored doping system, which was ultimately supervised and financed by then-Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko and other high-level government officials,” lawyer Jim Walden said in a statement. “The decision to bar Russia’s official participation in the Winter Olympics makes abundantly clear to Russia, and all countries, that there are serious consequences for flouting the rules of the international community.”

A livestream taken by Russia Today showed Russia’s Olympic skiing team hearing the news firsthand. Video showed the athletes looking dejected…

 

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CHumph Lackey Manafort in Collusion With Russian Spies During Bail Hearings

Once a commie crook…

Looks like Mr Manafort will be spending his time in lockup, instead of his multi-million dollar condo in Alexandria, Va.

Can’t wait for him to find the bath fixtures in jail aren’t covered in 24 karat gold.

 

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Fighting ISIS…With Porn

Some Iraqis had a clever idea. Penetrate the ISIS Internet and spread fake news and porn.

They did a far better job at taking down the ISIS recruiting tools that their supposedly better armed, and more Internet savvy American and other anti ISIS allies.

Shows you how “stuck on stupid” our cyber warriors have become.

 

They Planted Porn in ISIS Propaganda, Just for Starters, Then Sowed Chaos and Confusion in the ‘Caliphate’

A small group of Iraqi hackers figured they could do a better job fighting ISIS online than most governments—and they did. And do. With a vengeance.

Six young Iraqis are taking a strategy straight out of the Kremlin’s mischievous playbook, but with no thanks to Moscow. They’re using hacked accounts to attack the so-called Islamic State and fake news to disrupt its “virtual caliphate.”

Given the dangers they face, the six people who make up the little group calling itself, with conscious irony, “Daeshgram”—its name melding the Arabic acronym for ISIS and Instagram—are forced to live something resembling double lives. Four of them work professionally in information technology and cybersecurity, one is an engineer, the other a student—all of them live in Iraq. Their families and friends know nothing of their efforts to push back against ISIS.

If the streets of Mosul were Iraq’s physical frontline against the jihadists, then surely it is the social media channels and encrypted messaging applications that serve as the front line against the cyber caliphate, and these young geeks are deep in the trenches.

Nada and Ahmed are two of those six. For obvious reasons they wanted to use aliases for this story. They formed Daeshgram around a year ago.

“We started thinking about how we could fight them online,” says Nada. “We were always messing around on the internet with each other anyway. ISIS are still a threat to Iraq, to Syria, even the world. So we started looking into exactly what might be effective on social media, and on Telegram. Back then, ISIS could do whatever they wanted on Telegram, we wanted them to know we were going to fight them on there too.”

As Twitter and Facebook began clamping down on extremist material, the encrypted messaging app Telegram became the group’s new hangout and means of distributing propaganda amongst its members across the globe.

It all began with “infiltrating their Telegram channels” says Nada, “we spent months observing, and pretending to be ISIS members. We studied how they behaved, the sort of language they used, and tried to take note of the unwritten rules.”

Even in the apparent safety of their own homes, where they gathered as Daeshgram on the weekends and after work, they would receive death threats “every now and then on Twitter, and Telegram from ISIS,” explains Ahmed. “‘We will find you, we will kill you.’ We just accepted that it is a part of our activities,” he adds. “We are IT experts, we take our cybersecurity extremely seriously.”

But, ISIS wasn’t the only danger—so genuine-looking was much of the media Daeshgram was publishing, and so deeply embedded within the jihadists’ online activities were they, that there were fears the Iraqi government might also be a threat.

Had they been caught, Daeshgram’s activities likely would have been difficult to explain to the Iraqi authorities. Much of their work has a nuance and patience misunderstood even by counterterror experts on ISIS. “I’m not sure they would have understood what we were doing, so we had to be extremely careful with our security,” said Ahmed.

The group was operating in a murky area and without government sanction. People have been jailed for far less when it comes to participating in such groups online. But despite committing hundreds of thousands of men from the Iraqi army, special forces, and various militias to fight ISIS on the ground in Mosul, Fallujah, and elsewhere, the Iraqi government made no provision for fighting the group online.

Telegram often served as a means of delivery, it allowed for proliferation of the group’s high-quality media output, everything from radio broadcasts and written statements to half-hour cinematic battle videos.

Some of Daeshgram’s early efforts saw them photoshop a pornographic scene into an image announcing the opening of a new media center in Wilyat Al-Khayar, an area that roughly correlates to Deir az-Zour in eastern Syria. The scene is amusing, if a little crass, but it served an important purpose.

“It let Daesh know that we were capable of replicating their media to a very high standard, it was the first seed of doubt,” explains Nada. However, they soon learned that to have the effect they desired “our output had to be subtle, and believable.” Nada adds, “We wanted to create items that ISIS members would not question and would share widely”—believability was key, as with all fake news.

In one effort some months ago, the group released an official-looking video warning that Amaq, ISIS’ official news agency which has become the go-to source for information on the group’s activities, had been hacked. It hadn’t, but so legitimate-looking was the warning that moderators on various Telegram channels began marking Amaq output from the day as fake, and warning members off it.

The confusion was growing.

In another instance, seeing a rumor that ISIS’ radio station Al-Bayan had been destroyed in an airstrike, the group produced a perfectly branded and edited audio statement in the style of Al-Bayan denying it had been taken offline. Their Al-Bayan piece was ambitious, but it appeared to work: It was downloaded without question almost 800 times, and it included information about ISIS losses on the battlefield, and the increasing number of ISIS fighters who were working as informants for Western governments, or outright defecting—topics official ISIS media outlets would never include.

Another effort saw the group create the fake Al-Adnani news channel, which at its peak had some 500 members. Controlling the channel gave the group nearly complete control over exactly what was posted and shared between members.

This tactic of imitation and subtle manipulation became the focus of their efforts; “We took their templates, and we started to manipulate the information on there, it was almost impossible to tell which statements were ISIS and which we had made,” said Nada.

Are they aware of just how controversial the rise of fake news has been, and is it ever an ethical strategy to adopt?

“Naturally we’re aware of the discussions across the globe about fake news and the harmful impact it has had on countries, especially in their elections,” says Nada. “Fake news has been used to destabilize functioning democracies.” But she claims the strategy is justified: “While the tactics we have used are indeed similar, we—in contrast to other actors—openly acknowledge that we are purposefully creating confusion to delegitimize and discredit Daesh propaganda.”

Just this past week, the group pulled off what they described as “a major operation,” the culmination of weeks of preparation with other groups.

Dubbed #ParalyzingAmaq the operation saw the main Amaq website taken down by a hack, and perhaps equally as significant, the website’s Firefox plugin, which automatically redirects followers to the latest incarnation of Amaq, was thwarted.

With the site down, the group began uploading some of the more than 40 duplicate Amaq sites it had created—many of them barely discernible from the original—even to the best-trained eye. These duplicate sites are being bandied about among dozens of Telegram sites as genuine, with ISIS members vouching for their authenticity.

The Telegram phenomenon has given birth to an industry of analysts and experts. Navigating the groups and channels which frequently shut down and respawn is not especially complex, but it is time consuming and requires near constant attention.

Some analysts were quick to criticise last week’s efforts to disrupt ISIS’ activities labeling it “a publicity stunt.” Others said it was “just annoying.”

When I put it to Nada and Ahmed that their operation largely flopped, Nada said the purpose of the operation was never merely to take down Telegram accounts, as some appear to have expected. It was “to sow discord and confusion, and to undermine the credibility of Amaq among ISIS supporters, particularly Arabic speakers,” said Nada. “We achieved that goal.”

Indeed a look at some of the popular channels frequented by ISIS suggests they are right: In one chat several ISIS members are seen bickering following Amaq’s hacking. “This channel is not official,” says one. Another replies, “How do you know it’s not official?” A third member interjects, “No, give your evidence.” Only for the first to respond, “You should be careful what you say to me.”

Ahmed points out that ISIS enforces stringent anti-discord rules on Telegram, as it does in the real world. Arguments, and the questioning of authority, will often see members banned.

“That discord, or fitna [the Quranic term used by ISIS] includes doubting any credible news outlet,” says Ahmed. He adds that, following Friday’s operation, “We made them break their own rules, we made them engage in debates regarding what was real, and what wasn’t.”

Nada concludes: “Journalists and analysts are not our target audience. Daesh supporters themselves, especially the Arabic speaking ones, are our target. Our main objective was to create confusion and discord, and we were able to do that. What Western analysts think is not really relevant to our work.

“ISIS supporters don’t know which Amaq sites to trust,” she said, so, “they don’t trust Amaq anymore.”

In the fight against the virtual caliphate, that is no small victory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U43eE7f7YyA

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2017 in International Terrorism, The Clown Bus

 

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The Chumph’s Money Laundering Mob Hotel in Panama and Guilt

When you are in a high level business, it is also your responsibility to make sure that  none of the money that goes into the business, or through the business is illegal.

Keeping Mafia or Drug Cartel money out can be difficult – but the Chumph’s desperation because he was near bankrupcy made him look the other way.

 

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How Jared Kushner Committed Perjury and His Newspaper Colluded With Russian Spies

Probably slated for the third round of Mueller indictments (After the Flynn family), Chumph son-in-law Jared Kushner is being investigated for back door deals with Wikileaks and Putin’s KGB.

Kushner perjured himself in testimony before Congress, declaring the he, and non of the Chumph staff ever had contact with Wikileaks or the Russians,

That’s bald faced lie.

How Jared Kushner’s Newspaper Became a Favorite Outlet for WikiLeaks Election Hacks

The New York Observer, owned by Trump’s son-in-law, was a friendly outlet for the 2016 Russian hackers.

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 9 in Beijing, China. (Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)In the fall of 2014, Julian Assange, the embattled head of WikiLeaks, was meeting with a steady stream of supportive journalists in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Among those seeking an audience with Assange was a freelancer working for the New York Observer, the newspaper owned and published by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and key advisor, Jared Kushner.

Ken Kurson, the newspaper’s editor in chief — along with a freelance writer he’d hired — helped arrange a “no-holds-barred” interview with Assange that October.

“My editor Ken Kurson (kkurson@observer.com) and I are very interested in an interview with Julian Assange. This would be a cover story.… We will be in London the first week of October,” wrote Jacques Hyzagi, a freelance reporter for the Observer, to a press consultant who arranged interviews for WikiLeaks.

Kurson, when contacted by Foreign Policy, said he did not attend that meeting and has never communicated with Assange; he insists that the profile was Hyzagi’s idea. “We ran an interview pitched to us by a freelancer,” he wrote in an email.

“I have never communicated in any way with Julian Assange and this sort of fact-free, evidenceless charge is analogous to pizzagate and other totally ludicrous conspiracies,” he added.

Hyzagi did not respond to multiple requests for an interview.

Yet a series of exchanges between Hyzagi and the WikiLeaks representative indicated that a meeting involving Kurson and Assange was in the works; at one point Leonardo DiCaprio was invited to tag along, according to emails obtained by FP. (DiCaprio did not end up attending.)

After that, the plan was to travel to Moscow to meet with Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor. Snowden’s team declined a request for an interview from Hyzagi, according to Ben Wizner, Snowden’s attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Hyzagi’s meeting with Assange resulted in a friendly feature in the Observer and kicked off a long-running series of laudatory articles about the WikiLeaks founder — many of those stories including exclusive details about the Australian transparency advocate. Later, the Observer also became a favored outlet of Guccifer 2.0, a suspected Russian hacker, who along with WikiLeaks released troves of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). WikiLeaks tweeted some of the Observer’s coverage, including stories expressing doubt that the Russians had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Kushner has long denied any collusion with the Russian government, which is suspected of targeting the 2016 election, but his newspaper proved a favored conduit for hacks, which the U.S. intelligence community says were carried out on Kremlin orders. The Observer was not the only outlet that received exclusive access to Guccifer 2.0 documents — or those from other outlets such as DC Leaks, widely believed to be part of the same campaign — but it was the only one owned by someone who was part of the Trump campaign.

“This would be of significant interest to law enforcement and investigators,” John Sipher, a former CIA officer who worked in Russia, wrote in an email to FP.

 

 

 

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