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  1. #1
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    Default Computer viruses from forum??

    Lately I've been getting a lot of computer viruses, and the biggest change I've made to my computing habits has been hanging around here. I wondered whether anyone else had suspected viruses coming from the forum somehow.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Nope.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    No, I haven't had any problems of late.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Thanks for the replies. Must be from somewhere else. Hmmm.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    .
    Must be from somewhere else. Hmmm.
    .
    Yep,
    ..
    .

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Actually, one of the links on this forum show up on my computer as "reported attack site". I notified Brian of this last week.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Actually, one of the links on this forum show up on my computer as "reported attack site". I notified Brian of this last week.
    I think that's due to the nature of the participants, not computer viruses.


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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Thompson View Post
    I think that's due to the nature of the participants, not computer viruses.
    Not sure what you mean by that but according to my security software some of the links on the site were direct downloads to known trojans.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    I'm so wary of viruses these days that I don't click on links displayed in the forum, though I do click on those posted sometimes. But the participants who post them may themselves not be aware there's a virus lurking there. In the end, it's pretty hard to find out where they're coming from.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    Lately I've been getting a lot of computer viruses, and the biggest change I've made to my computing habits has been hanging around here. I wondered whether anyone else had suspected viruses coming from the forum somehow.
    I have used many a anti virus software and since I got Norton 360 a couple or more years ago there is nothing in the slightest that gets through.

    I for one have never had Norton pop up from clicking on anything on this forum or maybe it is just taking care of it and I do not know it but that is doubtful because it always warns or advises me of a possible or pending threat.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Have not had an issue since I switched to AVG free 4 years ago.
    McAfee and Norton are big resource hogs and spend much time loading.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    I have Avast, another free one. Have used Norton, McAfee and Symantec in the past, and I'm very happy with Avast. It's only lately I've had any problems, the worst being Cloud AV 2012, which was evidently too new to be included in the Avast virus definitions. It mimics antiviral software. Had to restore my system to an earlier date to get rid of that one. I'm wondering if I'm picking up stuff from my employer, since I often have to run programs from their site and they always seem to be having problems. Thought I'd ask around here, though, anyway.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I have Avast, another free one. Have used Norton, McAfee and Symantec in the past, and I'm very happy with Avast. It's only lately I've had any problems, the worst being Cloud AV 2012, which was evidently too new to be included in the Avast virus definitions. It mimics antiviral software. Had to restore my system to an earlier date to get rid of that one. I'm wondering if I'm picking up stuff from my employer, since I often have to run programs from their site and they always seem to be having problems. Thought I'd ask around here, though, anyway.
    Most AV programs use a combination of a list of known problems and "heuristics" which is basically monitoring the activities of the computer and triggering when suspicious activity happens. The list thing is always behind the curve since new viri and versions are constantly being developed. These developers do updates too! It takes a while for them to be discovered "in the wild" and added to the block list.

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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    I have a multi-layered defense and have seen nothing from this site.

    1. Microsoft Security Essentials
    2. Threatfire
    3. Zonealarm

    When ever my system acts strangely I do a scan using Spybot Search and Destroy AND Sophos Anti-Root Kit.

    Everything is setup to update automatically or when I run it. Ditto for Windows, Firefox and Thunderbird.

    Haven't had anything nasty on my network for several years....Paranoia helps!!

    //Rick

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Been hanging around here for 10 years or more. NEVER had a problem with the Brian links.

    Once or twice with a link some member posted.

    Gotta be smart about it!

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    The problem I experienced before has been corrected. I'm assuming Brian spoke with the link owner and got the problem cleared up.

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    First, let me give you a little personal background. One of my hobbies is writing software reviews for online publication. In this environment, I receive many many software titles for testing and review. These reviews get published twice a month in an online publication called Neat Net Tricks. I've been doing this for many years now as a part of their software review panel. Neat Net Tricks offers both a free and a paid version ($12/year) of their newsletter. I highly recommend it.

    Computer protection and security is an ever evolving field. What has worked in the past may no longer be sufficient for today's more sophisticated environment. "I've always used xxxxxxx brand antivirus programs and it has always worked fine for me" is an invitation to a potential disaster. At the minimum, you will "hate this damn POS computer because it's so slow".


    The hackers and crackers out there have had a lot of time in the saddle with these older programs and often know them better than the original developers. They know the weaknesses and the holes that can be exploited. The whole antivirus/anti-Mal ware field is truly a cat and mouse game with the hackers in front, leading the way and the developers are constantly playing catch-up.

    Many developers, in an attempt to be the "be-all and end-all" of protection have gone to the suite format, throwing in everything they can think of including the kitchen sink! In my experience, charitably, only about half of it is actually useful. The rest of the only serves to slow everything down and create a huge amount of bloat in the system. Programs such as Norton Antivirus suite come to mind. At their base default settings they are so intrusive and resource intensive that one's computer slows to a crawl every time an operation is attempted. Want to read your e-mail? Sure no problem, just let me run this through every virus and malware database known to man and I'll get back to you in a few minutes. Oh and by the way, two of your drivers are out of date, three programs have major security holes, Windows update is turned off, your left front tire needs air and your dog is pregnant. "I'm sorry Dave-I cannot open the pod bay door."

    The other disturbing trend I have noticed is that even the front line software developers are starting to bundle other software into the installation package. In geek speak, this stuff is called "foist ware" or "shovel ware" because, for the unattentive, if foists unneeded and unwanted software on to the user if they are not very careful about what boxes are checked during the installation. Suddenly you find yourself with a new toolbar, a new homepage and your favorite search engine has been hijacked and is now something else. Woah! How did that happen? You weren't paying attention my friend.

    Ultimately, you are the best protection (or your worst enemy) when it comes to computer security. Being attentive during a software installation will prevent the foist ware from getting installed. Understanding how "Social Engineering" is used to get you to drop your pants so to speak and allow the hacker access to your system will go a long way towards protecting your system from intrusion.

    Never click on a link in an e-mail, even if it's from someone you know. If necessary, pick up the phone and call them and ask them "did you send me this?" Thousands of computers have been compromised by what is called a "bot net" whose sole purpose is to use someone else's equipment and IP address to send out spam and to try to capture other computers to add to the net.

    Gone are the days when the virus writers generate programs to "trash your hard drive". There is no money in that. Running a bot net with thousands of computers, controlled by me, I can send out literally millions of e-mails a day and never be traced. That is much more profitable. I really have to chuckle when I get the occasional e-mail from somebody warning me (usually in screaming 30 point typeface) about the latest virus contained in an e-mail that is going to burn my system down. Please, get a clue, they don't do that anymore and you're an idiot and shouldn't actually be using a computer.
    The hot item these days is phony offers of a free computer scan to help you find and eliminate the bad guys. Unfortunately these ARE the bad guys. Once you grant access to your computer for the scan, they install the rogue program which will "find" all kinds of alarming problems (which actually don't exist) and then offer to repair them, usually for a substantial fee. And once this rogue program gets on your computer, they are very difficult to remove and will continually pop up nag screens warning you that you're in dire danger and must send money immediately to have this fixed. It is gotten so bad that even the FTC is starting to investigate and prosecute these hackers.

    You are your best defense. An aware and educated computer user is harder to fool than someone who only grudgingly uses the computer because I have to but are afraid of them in general.

    Absolutely never click on a link from a bank or other financial institution. Go directly to the site and check to see if there is in fact a message or whatever. The spoofed sites are very sophisticated and often difficult to detect that they are in fact not the site they said they were. Their sole purpose is to get you to login to your bank account so that they can capture your login information and have free access to your entire financial profile. If this happens, you're toast. It's called identity theft and this is one of the main ways that it happens. One trick that an aware computer user can use is to hover over the link they want you to click on and look at the bottom of your browser window to see where the link is actually going to take you if you click it. Surprise surprise! It's not going to Bank of America, it's going to a spoofed site that will rip you a new one.

    Okay, enough ranting. If you want more information, do a little research using your favorite search engine and resources like Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia. Many antivirus developers websites also have excellent articles about computer security. If you actually use your computer for your business and value the security of your information, financial and otherwise, it would be wise to do so. If you have any specific questions, please send me a private message and I'll see if I can help or point you in the direction to find your own solution.


    Last edited by Dana Bostick; 12-16-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Thanks for the great post, Dana! I'd actually lost track of this thread (my own! Doh!) and hadn't seen the previous few posts...thank you all for replying.

    Things seem to be fine again with my computer. The Cloud AV must have made it onto my AV definitions update list, and appears to be controlled. That one was easy to see it was a scam - hover over the link, and it showed up in Russian!

    Even fixed my CD player/recorder with Microsoft Fix-It. Can't believe that's all it took after months/years of not having it work!

    I agree, those bundled AV programs are a pain in the a$$, and not worth the money when there are good free options that don't come with a lot of hooey attached. They can be hard to get rid of, too. I've still got parts of Norton from years ago that I can't seem to get off my computer.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post

    . I've still got parts of Norton from years ago that I can't seem to get off my computer.
    ...
    Download | The PC Decrapifier
    ...
    .

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana Bostick View Post
    First, let me give you a little personal background. One of my hobbies is writing software reviews for online publication. In this environment, I receive many many software titles for testing and review. These reviews get published twice a month in an online publication called Neat Net Tricks. I've been doing this for many years now as a part of their software review panel. Neat Net Tricks offers both a free and a paid version ($12/year) of their newsletter. I highly recommend it.

    Computer protection and security is an ever evolving field. What has worked in the past may no longer be sufficient for today's more sophisticated environment. "I've always used xxxxxxx brand antivirus programs and it has always worked fine for me" is an invitation to a potential disaster. At the minimum, you will "hate this damn POS computer because it's so slow".


    Well in the case of you writing reviews, I have a question.

    My wife on her PC a problem developed. Not sure what it was now but I think it was a WIN32 problem or something similar. Anyhow, her Avast wouldn't remove it. They suggested she go and d/l their rootkit program. Until that time I thought the regular anti-virus programs all had decent rootkit scanning built in. Alas, on that one I learned something new.

    For me on my PC, I don't run Avast, I run AVG. But as I started looking into rootkit add-ons I saw a review that recommended Kaspersky-s TDSS Killer for rootkits. What are your thoughts on that?

    I had a problem a week ago that AVG didn't catch, W3i.IQ5.fraud, but Spybot got it and removed it. Did a google search and found it is associated with freeze.com Not sure where I picked it up at, just glad its gone.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    Well in the case of you writing reviews, I have a question.

    My wife on her PC a problem developed. Not sure what it was now but I think it was a WIN32 problem or something similar. Anyhow, her Avast wouldn't remove it. They suggested she go and d/l their rootkit program. Until that time I thought the regular anti-virus programs all had decent rootkit scanning built in. Alas, on that one I learned something new.

    For me on my PC, I don't run Avast, I run AVG. But as I started looking into rootkit add-ons I saw a review that recommended Kaspersky-s TDSS Killer for rootkits. What are your thoughts on that?

    I had a problem a week ago that AVG didn't catch, W3i.IQ5.fraud, but Spybot got it and removed it. Did a google search and found it is associated with freeze.com Not sure where I picked it up at, just glad its gone.
    I like AVG and have used it for a long time with no issues however I was taught to always use Spybot in conjunction with it.
    The combo of the two is time tested personally by me and I will state that you can't go wrong this way.
    Norton and McAfee suck and got popular because of the freebies in bloat ware by cable companies IMO.


  22. #22

    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    Well in the case of you writing reviews, I have a question.

    My wife on her PC a problem developed. Not sure what it was now but I think it was a WIN32 problem or something similar. Anyhow, her Avast wouldn't remove it. They suggested she go and d/l their rootkit program. Until that time I thought the regular anti-virus programs all had decent rootkit scanning built in. Alas, on that one I learned something new.

    For me on my PC, I don't run Avast, I run AVG. But as I started looking into rootkit add-ons I saw a review that recommended Kaspersky-s TDSS Killer for rootkits. What are your thoughts on that?

    I had a problem a week ago that AVG didn't catch, W3i.IQ5.fraud, but Spybot got it and removed it. Did a google search and found it is associated with freeze.com Not sure where I picked it up at, just glad its gone.
    David,
    Rootkits can be difficult to find and remove. For this type of scanning, one should be in "Safe" mode which is a very basic mode of the operating system with little or no drivers and other extraneous programs running in the background. It usually can be reached by by hitting the F-8 key while booting up. One needs to keep hitting the F-8 key repeatedly before the Window's splash screen launches. Once you see the "Windows is Starting" screen, it's too late and you need to start over. Check your computer's docs to see. Choose "Safe mode with networking" to start the computer and run the deep scan while in that mode. A full scan will often take a couple of hours.

    I've never used or tested Kaspersky AV but they do rank high on the list of the best AV programs. Also look at Trend AV. They have a free on-line scanner called "House Call" that will run even if your particular issue has disabled the AV, which many will do to avoid detection.
    Good Luck

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    I dunno...can I trust you?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I dunno...can I trust you?
    PC Decrapifyer is an interesting program. It's primary function is to remove all the crap ware that gets installed on a new computer when you first get it.

    By crap ware I mean all the extra toolbars, 3-month trial subscriptions and junk, often called "foist ware" that manufacturer's pile on because then make money from the developers for including it. They take up space, consume resources and generally "phone home" and track your activities and provide no real benefit to the user.

    It is not really designed to remove things like a virus or malware/root kit.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    .
    I dunno...can I trust you?
    .
    It's Crap.
    *I mean decrap.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  26. #26
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    I'm with Ted Menelly on this one. However, remember that a bottom feeding hacker can attach a virus to almost anything.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Computer viruses, from any source, are intercepted by my antivirus. There are lots of AVs out there. I use Security Essentials, FREEly distributed by Microsoft, for more than two years. SE has intercepted and destroyed several inbound attempts. A weekly scan confirms a clean machine, or finds and destroys anything that slicked past the real-time protection. There are lots of other brands, and I have used several. However, there is no need for me to use the others.

    If you are having problems with viruses, and they are actually getting into your computer, consider changing brands of AV protection. I have never noticed a virus intercept popup while using this forum. I do a lot of websurfing, and sometimes get into nasty places unintentionally, resulting in a warning from my browser to stay away. When that warning pops up, I don't challenge it. However, my computer remains clean.

    It is possible that you could acquire a virus hitchhiker attached to an image upload. But again, if your AV is up to date, that virus would not be welcome into your computer. Instead, your AV would be greet it with certain death.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    Computer viruses, from any source, are intercepted by my antivirus. There are lots of AVs out there. I use Security Essentials, FREEly distributed by Microsoft, for more than two years. SE has intercepted and destroyed several inbound attempts. A weekly scan confirms a clean machine, or finds and destroys anything that slicked past the real-time protection. There are lots of other brands, and I have used several. However, there is no need for me to use the others.

    If you are having problems with viruses, and they are actually getting into your computer, consider changing brands of AV protection. I have never noticed a virus intercept popup while using this forum. I do a lot of websurfing, and sometimes get into nasty places unintentionally, resulting in a warning from my browser to stay away. When that warning pops up, I don't challenge it. However, my computer remains clean.

    It is possible that you could acquire a virus hitchhiker attached to an image upload. But again, if your AV is up to date, that virus would not be welcome into your computer. Instead, your AV would be greet it with certain death.
    The virus doesn't show itself in the forum, it most likely has nothing to do with it. I just thought I'd check. There are a lot of links.

    Antiviral definitions can't anticipate the next virus, so everyone has a small chance of getting infected until an antidote is found, regardless of the program. Until now I had no problems for years - Avast caught the few that got in.

    Went to the Microsoft page about the virus, Cloud AV 2012 and am now downloading something that's supposed to take care of it.

    I'll be fine, work it out somehow.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Kristi,
    I have gotten to the point that I look carefully at every link and site before I go there. I would say that this site and forum will not take you down a rabbit hole. I would also trust (not guaranteed) the older members not to post a bad link, I do.

    I think that you are learning that you will have increase your attention to links before you take the leap. I have had the experience of dealing with three daughters and their computer systems. It took me time before they started looking closely before they leaped. But usually there was a defining moment when their computer life went into the toilet, loosing things that really effected them. You may be reaching that point. You may want to have two systems, one to work with and one to play with. The latter is one that you can scrub frequently (complete reformat hard-drive and reinstall operating system) and not have to worry about infections.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Oh, I'm quite wary when it comes to links I follow. Rarely do my AV scans come up with anything. Spybot finds a few occasionally, but nothing the seems to mess with my computer too much. That's why I wondered where I got the Cloud from - my habits hadn't changed except for my job and this forum. Maybe I got it from my employer, since they're always having site problems and I have to use their links. But who knows?

    I wish I had the money for a second computer! I'd love to have a laptop, so I could work during dead time between appts. Just got a new camera, that was my Xmas present to myself...maybe next year a laptop.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Computer viruses from forum??

    Kristi,
    Network our friends to look for someone replacing their system with the a new shiny one. I see some people just leaving a not to old (2yrs) for the latest developments. Old system would give you the platform to do a few upgrades on (low cost like RAM, Hard Drive) and end up with a good work horse. This is the time of year many go for new systems.

    Just an Idea.


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