He had bushy, graying hair. Sloping shoulders, bearish, pear-shaped. Because of his age, Gillette guessed he was from the second generation of computer programmers — men and women who were innovators in the computer world in the early seventies. The third person was Tony Mott, a cheerful thirty-year-old with long, straight blond hair and Oakley sunglasses dangling from a green fluorescent cord around his neck. His cubicle was filled with pictures of him and a pretty Asian girl, snowboarding and mountain biking. A crash helmet sat on his desk, snowboarding boots in the corner.
He'd represent the latest generation of hackers: Gillette noticed too that of all the cops at CCU Mott wore the biggest pistol on his hip — a shiny silver automatic. The Computer Crimes Unit also had a receptionist but the woman was out sick. CCU was low in the state police hierarchy it was referred to as the "Geek Squad" by fellow cops and headquarters wouldn't spring for a temporary replacement. The members of the unit had to take phone messages, sift through mail and file documents by themselves and none of them, understandably, was very happy about this.
Then Gillette's eyes slipped to one of several erasable white-boards, against the wall, apparently used for listing clues. A photo was taped to one. He couldn't make out what it depicted and walked closer. Then he gasped and stopped in shock. The photo was of a young woman in an orange-and-red skirt, naked from the waist up, bloody and pale, lying in a patch of grass, dead. Gillette had played plenty of computer games — Mortal Kombat and Doom and Tomb Raider — but, as gruesome as those games were, they were nothing compared to this still, horrible violence against a real victim.
Andy Anderson glanced at the wall clock, which wasn't digital, as would befit a computer center, but an old, dusty analog model — with big and little hands. The time was The cop said, "We've got to get moving on this… Now, we're taking a two-prong approach to the case. Detectives Bishop and Shelton are going to be running a standard homicide investigation. CCU'll handle the computer evidence — with Wyatt's help here. She should be here any minute.
Miller added, "We use corporate security people all the time. The technology changes so fast we can't keep up with all the latest developments. Perps're always one step ahead of us. So we try to use private consultants whenever we can. Tony Mott said, "They're usually standing in line to help. It's real chic now to put catching a hacker on your resume. Should be ready in ten minutes. Mott handed Frank Bishop an envelope. It's the preliminary crime scene report.
Bishop brushed at his stiff hair with the backs of his fingers. Gillette could see the tooth marks from the comb very clearly in the heavily sprayed strands. The cop glanced through the file but said nothing. He handed the thin stack of papers to Shelton, tucked his shirt in once more then leaned against the wall.
The chunky cop opened the file, read for a few moments then looked up. Late twenties, early thirties.
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Looked like every techie in there, the bartender said. There were no hard leads to anybody there. He had a mustache and goatee. Also there were several frayed blue denim fibers on the victim that didn't match her clothes or anything in her closet at home. Might've come from the perp. The murder weapon was probably a military Ka-bar knife with a serrated top.
Shelton frowned slightly, apparently not wishing to digress. Crime scene was lucky; the bartender remembered that the perp wrapped his beer bottle in a napkin and one of the techs found it in the trash. But we printed both the bottle and the napkin and came up with zip. The lab lifted some kind of adhesive off the lip of the bottle but we can't tell what it is. That's all they know. It doesn't match anything in the lab database.
The cop said, "Maybe he needed some help to look like this Will Randolph guy he was impersonating. Might be glue for a fake mustache or beard. I have friends who've sewed together complete Pac Bell linemen uniforms. Anderson nodded his approval of this suggestion. Shelton called homicide headquarters in San Jose and arranged to have some troopers check the adhesive against samples of theatrical glue.
Frank Bishop took off his wrinkled suit jacket and hung it carefully on the back of a chair. He stared at the photo and the white-board, arms crossed. His shirt was already billowing out again. He wore boots with pointed toes. When Gillette was a college student he and some friends at Berkeley had rented a skin flick for a party — a stag film from the fifties or sixties. One of the actors had looked and dressed just like Bishop. Lifting the crime scene file away from Shelton, Bishop flipped through it. Then he looked up.
If we can get a hold of the check we might lift a fingerprint. Bishop nodded at Gillette. But Bishop ignored him and nodded to Shelton, who made the call to follow up on his suggestion. Gillette then realized that nobody had been standing close to him. He eyed everyone else's clean clothes, shampooed hair, grime-free fingernails. He asked Anderson, "If we've got a few minutes before that computer's ready… I don't suppose you have a shower 'round here?
Anderson tugged at the lobe that bore the stigmata of a past-life earring and broke into a laugh. The young cop nodded and led Gillette down the hallway. He chattered away nonstop — his first topic the advantages of the Linux operating system, a variation on the classic Unix, which many people were starting to use in place of Windows.
He spoke enthusiastically and was well informed. He then told Gillette about the recent formation of the Computer Crimes Unit. They'd been in existence for less than a year. The Geek Squad, Mott explained, could easily have used another half-dozen full-time cops but they weren't in the budget. There were more cases than they could possibly handle — from hacking to cyberstalking to child pornography to copyright infringement of software — and the workload seemed to get heavier with every passing month.
I mean, I love machines and guess I have a mind for 'em but sifting through code to find a copyright violation's not quite what I'd hoped. I thought it'd be a little more rig and rage, you know. She's smart but machines aren't in her blood. She was a gang girl down in Lettuce Land, you know, Salinas. Then she went into social work and decided to go to the academy. Her partner was shot up pretty bad in Monterey a few years ago. Linda has kids — the daughter who's expecting and a girl in high school — and her husband's never home.
He's an INS agent. So she figured it was time to move to a little quieter side of the business. As Gillette toweled off after the shower Mott placed an extra set of his own workout clothes on the bench for the hacker. T-shirt, black sweatpants and a warm-up wind-breaker.
Mott was shorter than Gillette but they had basically the same build. He felt exhilarated, having washed away one particular type of filth from his thin frame: On the way back to the main room they passed a small kitchenette. There was a coffeepot, a refrigerator and a table on which sat a plate of bagels. Gillette stopped, looked hungrily at the food. Then he eyed a row of cabinets. He took it out of Gillette's hand and dropped it on the floor. It bounced like a ball. Linda and I put 'em out this morning and we've been waiting for Andy to bite — so to speak — but we haven't got him yet.
I think he's on a diet. Another followed, washed down with gulps from the large cup of coffee. They were the best thing he'd had in ages. Gillette looked around the dinosaur pen, at the hundreds of disconnected boas lying in the corners and at the air-conditioning vents, his mind churning. A thought occurred to him.
A woman's gravelly voice spoke from the doorway.
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T hey turned to see a hippy brunette in her mid-thirties, wearing an unfortunate gray sweater suit and thick black shoes. She's with the security department of Horizon On-Line. Horizon was the biggest commercial Internet service provider in the world, larger even than America Online. Since there were tens of millions of registered subscribers and since every one of them could have up to eight different usernames for friends or family members it was likely that, at any given time, a large percentage of the world was checking stock quotes, lying to people in chat rooms, reading Hollywood gossip, buying things, finding out the weather, reading and sending e-mails and downloading soft-core porn via Horizon On-Line.
Nolan kept her eyes on Gillette's face for a moment. She glanced at the palm tree tattoo. Then at his fingers, keying compulsively in the air. Anderson explained, "Horizon called us when they heard the victim was a customer and volunteered to send somebody to help out. The detective introduced her to the team and now Gillette examined her. The trendy designer eyeglasses, probably bought on impulse, didn't do much to make her masculine, plain face any less plain. But the striking green eyes behind them were piercing and very quick — Gillette could see that she too was amused to find herself in an antiquated dinosaur pen.
Nolan's complexion was loose and doughy and obscured with thick makeup that would have been stylish — if excessive — in the s. Her brunette hair was very thick and unruly and tended to fall into her face. After hands were shaken and introductions made she returned immediately to Gillette. She twined a mass of hair around her fingers and, not caring who heard, said bluntly, "I saw the way you looked at me when you heard I worked for Horizon. Computer wizards used telnet programs to jump directly from their computers to others' and they roamed the Blue Nowhere with customized Web browsers built for interstellar travel.
They wouldn't think of using simple-minded, low-horsepower Internet providers like Horizon, which was geared for family entertainment. Or, echoing Gillette's current address, just plain HOs. Nolan continued, speaking to Gillette. Princeton 's artificial intelligence lab was one of the top in the country.
And I've done my share of hacking too. Gillette was amused that she was justifying herself to him , the one felon in the crowd, and not to the police. He could hear an edgy tone in her voice and the delivery sounded rehearsed. He supposed this was because she was a woman; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission doesn't have jurisdiction to stop the relentless prejudice against women trying to make their way in the Blue Nowhere.
Not only are they hounded out of chat rooms and off bulletin boards but they're often blatantly insulted and even threatened. Teenage girls who want to hack need to be smarter and ten times tougher than their male counterparts. Nolan filled in, "March 31, The first Univac was delivered to the Census Bureau for regular operations. Nolan said, "Univac is one of the first modern mainframe computers, as we know them. It took up a room as big as this one.
Of course nowadays you can buy laptops that're faster and do a hundred times more. Try Seattle, Portland — they have the Silicon Forest there. Chicago 's got the Silicon Prairie. Route outside of Boston. And the Dulles Toll Road corridor outside of D. Start there and let's see what we can find. Tony Mott keyed in some information and a few minutes later he got a response. He read from the screen and said, "Got something in Portland. February fifteenth and seventeenth of this year.
Two unsolved killings, same M. Perp was believed to be a white male, late twenties. Didn't seem to know the victims and robbery and rape weren't motives. The vics were a wealthy corporate executive — male — and a professional woman athlete. It came online in the forties. The dedication date was February fifteenth. He absently organized some of the disks and papers that covered his desk six inches deep.
That's the Dulles Toll Road high-tech corridor… I'm ordering the complete files. The computer terminal where Mott sat gave a soft beep. The young cop leaned forward, his large automatic pistol clanking loudly against his chair. Anderson read the text, shook his head. The note from the sysadmin says they were damaged in a data-storage mishap.
Nobody's ever done that. Anderson said to the younger cop, "Try the state databases: Oregon and Virginia state police case archives. Gillette didn't feel like educating the difficult cop. He glanced at Anderson, who explained, "The word 'hacker' is a compliment. It means an innovative programmer. As in 'hacking together' software. A real hacker breaks into somebody's machine only to see if he can do it and to find out what's inside — it's a curiosity thing.
The hacker ethic is it's okay to look but don't touch. People who break into systems as vandals or thieves are called 'crackers. I'd call him a 'kracker' with a k. Misspell 'wares' with a z on the end, not an s, and you're not talking about housewares but about stolen software. When it comes to hacking it's all in the spelling. The identification techs from the California State Police Forensics Division returned to the main part of the CCU office, wheeling battered suitcases behind them.
One consulted a sheet of paper. And there was no evidence of glove smears on the keys. Soft access — like we thought. Then Linda Sanchez — all business at the moment, no longer the grandmother-to-be — said to Gillette, "I've secured and logged everything in her machine. This was a disk that contained enough of an operating system to "boot up," or start, a suspect's computer.
Police used boot disks, rather than the hard drive itself, to start the computer in case the owner — or the killer, in this case — had installed some software on the hard drive that would destroy data. You probably know all this too but keep the victim's machine and any disks away from plastic bags or boxes or folders — they can create static and zap data.
Same thing with speakers. They have magnets in them. And don't put any disks on metal shelves — they might be magnetized. You'll find nonmagnetic tools in the lab. I guess you know what to do from here. Shelton wasn't pleased but he acquiesced. Gillette noticed, though, that he didn't return to the main room. He leaned against the hallway wall near the lab and crossed his arms, looking like a bouncer with a bad attitude. Inside the analysis room Gillette walked up to Lara Gibson's computer.
The Blue Nowhere - Jeffery Deaver - Google Книги
It was an unremarkable, off-the-shelf IBM clone. He did nothing with her machine just yet, though. Instead he sat down at a workstation and wrote a kludge — a down-and-dirty software program. In five minutes he was finished writing the source code. He named the program Detective then compiled and copied it to the boot disk Sanchez had given him. He inserted the disk into the floppy drive of Lara Gibson's machine. He turned on the power switch and the drives hummed and snapped with comforting familiarity.
Wyatt Gillette's thick, muscular fingers slid eagerly onto the cool plastic of the keys. He positioned his fingertips, callused from years of keyboarding, on the tiny orientation bumps on the F and J keys. The boot disk bypassed the machine's Windows operating system and went straight to the leaner MS-DOS — the famous Microsoft Disk Operating System, which is the basis for the more user-friendly Windows. Then, not looking at the keyboard, he pressed a key, the one for d-the first letter in the command line, detective.
In the Blue Nowhere time is very different from what we know it to be in the Real World and, in the first thousandth of a second after Wyatt Gillette pushed that key, this happened:. The keyboard processor noticed the change in current and transmitted an interrupt signal to the computer itself, which momentarily sent the dozens of tasks it was currently performing to a storage area known as the stack and then created a special priority route for codes coming from the keyboard.
Assured that he hadn't, the BIOS translated the letter's keyboard code for the lowercase d into another one, its ASCII code, which was then sent into the computer's graphics adapter. The adapter in turn converted the code to a digital signal, which it forwarded to the electron guns located in the back of the monitor. The guns fired a burst of energy into the chemical coating on the screen. And, miraculously, the white letter d burned into existence on the black monitor.
And in what remained of that second Gillette typed the rest of the letters of his command, e-t-e-c-t-i-v-e. More type and graphics appeared, and soon, like a surgeon on the trail of an elusive tumor, Wyatt Gillette began probing carefully through Lara Gibson's computer — the only aspect of the woman that had survived the vicious attack, that was still warm, that retained at least a few memories of who she was and what she'd done in her brief life.
H e walks in a hacker's slump, Andy Anderson thought, watching Wyatt Gillette return from the analysis lab. It was nearly The hacker had spent only thirty minutes looking over Lara Gibson's machine. Bob Shelton, who now dogged Gillette back to the main office, to the hacker's obvious irritation, asked, "So what'd you find? Gillette ignored the pock-faced cop and sat down in a swivel chair, flipped open his notebook.
When he spoke it was to Anderson. The killer was in her computer.
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He seized root and-". Gillette explained, "When somebody has root that means they have complete control over a computer network and all the machines on it. Anderson added, "When you're root you can rewrite programs, delete files, add authorized users, remove them, go online as somebody else. Gillette continued, "But I can't figure out how he did it. The only thing unusual I found were some scrambled files — I thought they were some kind of encrypted virus but they turned out to be just gibberish.
There's not a trace of any kind of software on her machine that would let him get inside. Glancing at Bishop, he explained, "See, I could load a virus in your computer that'd let me seize root on your machine and get inside it from wherever I am, whenever I want to, without needing a passcode. They're called 'back door' viruses — as in sneaking in through the back door.
I could send it to you as an attachment to an e-mail, say, and you could activate it by opening the attachment without knowing what it was. Or I could break into your house and install it on your computer then activate it myself. But there's no evidence that happened. No, he seized root some other way. The hacker was an animated speaker, Anderson noticed. His eyes were glowing with that absorbed animation he'd seen in so many young geeks — even the ones who were sitting in court, more or less convicting themselves as they excitedly described their exploits to the judge and jury. It looks for things that aren't inside a computer.
There're patterns to where and when it stores those files. But Frank Bishop said, "You mean, it's like you know a burglar was inside your house because he moved furniture and didn't put the pieces back. Even though he was gone when you got home. Andy Anderson — as much a wizard as Gillette in some areas — hefted the thin disk in his hand. He couldn't help feeling impressed. When he was considering asking Gillette to help them, the cop had looked through some of Gillette's script, which the prosecutor had submitted as evidence in the case against him.
After examining the brilliant lines of source code Anderson had two thoughts. The first was that if anyone could figure out how the perp had gotten into Lara Gibson's computer it was Wyatt Gillette. The second was pure, painful envy of the young man's skills. Throughout the world there were tens of thousands of code crunchers — people who happily churn out tight, efficient software for mundane tasks — and there were just as many script bunnies, the term for kids who write wildly creative but clumsy and largely useless programs just for the fun of it.
But only a few programmers have both the vision to conceive of script that's "elegant," the highest form of praise for software, and the skill to write it. Wyatt Gillette was just such a codeslinger. Once again Anderson noticed Frank Bishop looking around the room absently, his mind elsewhere. He wondered if he should call headquarters and see about getting a new detective on board. The CCU cop said to Gillette, "So the bottom line is he got into her system thanks to some new, unknown program or virus.
Unix is a computer operating system, just like MS-DOS or Windows, though it controls larger, more powerful machines than personal computers. But they were Unix commands — he must've entered them by mistake before he remembered her machine was running Windows. You must've seen them in there. Anderson looked questioningly at Stephen Miller, who'd apparently been the one analyzing the victim's computer in the first place.
Miller said uneasily, "I noticed a couple lines of Unix, yeah. But I just assumed she'd typed them. He seemed put out at this criticism over what he must have thought was a small point. So Stephen Miller had made yet another mistake, Anderson reflected. This had been an ongoing problem ever since Miller had joined CCU recently. In the s Miller had headed a promising company that made computers and developed software. But his products were always one step behind IBM's, Digital Equipment's and Microsoft's and he eventually went bankrupt. Miller complained that he'd often anticipated the NBT the "Next Big Thing" — the Silicon Valley phrase for an innovation that would revolutionize the industry but the "big boys" were continually sabotaging him.
After his company went under he'd gotten divorced and left the Machine World for a few years, then surfaced as a freelance programmer. Miller drifted into computer security and finally applied to the state police. Besides, Miller — who'd never remarried and didn't seem to have much of a personal life — put in the longest hours in the department and could be found in the dinosaur pen long after everyone else had left.
He also took work "home," that is, to some of the local university computer departments, where friends would let him run CCU projects on state-of-the-art supercomputers for free. Anderson said, "It's bad for us. That's what it means. Hackers who use Windows or Apple systems are usually small-time. He added, "Unix is also the operating system of the Internet. Anybody who's going to crack into the big servers and routers on the Net has to know Unix. Bishop's phone rang and he took the call.
Then he looked around and sat down at a nearby workstation to jot notes. He sat upright; no hacker's slouch here, Anderson observed. When he disconnected the call Bishop said, "Got some leads. One of our troopers heard from some CIs. It was a moment before Anderson recalled what the letters stood for. Bishop said in his soft, unemotional voice, "Somebody named Peter Fowler, white male about twenty-five, from Bakersfield 's been seen selling guns in this area.
Been hawking Ka-bars too. He was seen an hour ago near the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. Some park near Page Mill, a quarter mile north of He knew the place well and wasn't surprised when Gillette said that he did too. It's a deserted grassy area near the campus where computer science majors, hackers and chip-jocks hang out. They trade warez and swap stories, smoke weed.
Bishop consulted his notes again and said, "The report from the lab shows that the adhesive on the bottle is the type of glue used in theatrical makeup. A couple of our people checked the phone book for stores. They sell a lot of the stuff, the clerk said. They don't keep records of the sales but they'll let us know if anybody comes in to buy some. A security guard in an office building across the street from Vesta's, the restaurant where he picked up the Gibson woman, noticed a late-model, light-colored sedan parked in the company lot around the time the victim was in the bar.
He thought somebody was inside the sedan. If there was, the driver may've gotten a good view of the perp's vehicle. We should canvass all the employees in the company. Then he nodded his crisp hair toward Gillette. They've lifted a couple of prints. They're sending 'em to the bureau for APIS. Tony Mott noticed Gillette's frown of curiosity.
Takes time to do the whole country but if he's been collared for anything in the past eight or nine years we'll probably get a match. Although he had a real talent for computers Mott was fascinated with what he called "real police work" and was constantly hounding Anderson for a transfer to Homicide or Major Crimes so he could go chase "real perps. Then Illinois and Wisconsin. Patricia Nolan explained that there were several versions of the Unix operating system. Using the East Coast commands suggested that the killer had Atlantic seaboard roots.
Bishop nodded and called this information into headquarters. He then glanced at his notebook and said, "There's one other thing we should add to the profile. He's missing the tips of most of his fingers. He's got enough of the pads to leave prints but the tips end in scar tissue. The ID tech was thinking maybe he'd been injured in a fire. The cops looked at him. Gillette held up his own hands. The fingertips were flat and ended in yellow calluses. Gillette said, "What I want to do now is go online and check out some of the renegade hacking newsgroups and chat rooms.
Whatever the killer's doing is the sort of thing that's going to cause a big stir in the underground and-". I looked in on him when he was checking out the victim's computer. Anderson could have checked out the log-in files of the CCU computer to find out for certain. But then decided that whether or not he'd gone online didn't really matter.
Gillette's job here was finished. He picked up the phone and called HQ. I can't stop now. We've got to find out what this guy did to get into her machine. If I had found something we could understand it. That's what's so scary about what he did. I need to keep going. Anderson said, "If we find the killer's machine — or another victim's — and if we need you to analyze it we'll bring you back.
People have to be talking about software like this. The cybercop pulled on his raincoat and said firmly, "We'll take it from here, Wyatt. The time was nearly noon and he was sitting by himself in the cold, dim computer room, still in his damp soccer outfit playing in the mist doesn't build character at all, Booty; it just makes you fucking wet.
But he didn't want to waste the time on a shower and change of clothes. When he'd been out on the playing field all he'd been able to think about was whether the college computer he'd hacked into had cracked the outer-gate passcode. And now, peering at the monitor through his thick, misted glasses, he saw that the Cray probably wasn't going to spit out the decrypted password in time.
It would take, he estimated, another two days to crack the code. He thought about his brother, about the Santana concert, about the backstage passes — all just out of reach — and he felt like crying. He began to type some commands to see if he could log on to another of the school's computers -a faster one, in the physics department. But there was a long queue of users waiting to get into that one.
Maybe he should just forget the whole thing. He was sick of being scared, sick of being cold. He should get the hell out of here, go hang with Dave or Totter or some of the guys from French club. His hands went to the keyboard to stop Crack-er and run the cloaking program that would destroy the evidence of his hack. On the screen in front of him the root directory of the college's computer suddenly appeared. Then, all by itself, the computer dialed out to another one, outside of the school. The machines electronically shook hands and a moment later Jamie Turner's Crack-er and Booty's password file were transferred to the second computer.
Jamie Turner was very savvy in the ways of computers but he'd never seen this. The only explanation was that the first computer — the college's — had some kind of arrangement with other computer departments so that tasks that took a long time were automatically transferred to speedier machines. But what was totally weird was that the machine Jamie's software had been transferred to was the Defense Research Center 's massive parallel array of supercomputers in Colorado Springs, one of the fastest computer systems in the world. It was also one of the most secure and was virtually impossible to crack Jamie knew; he'd tried it.
The Blue Nowhere
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Get access to the best in romance: See More New Releases. She looked outside again, into the overcast drizzle, and saw no sign of the windowless Econoline that, she believed, had followed her from her house, a few miles away, to the restaurant. Lara slid off the bar stool and walked to the window, glanced outside.
Nor was it across the street in the Apple Computer lot or the one next to it, belonging to Sun Microsystems. No, the van was just a coincidence, she decided—a coincidence aggravated by a splinter of paranoia. She returned to the bar and glanced at the two young men who were alternately ignoring her and offering subtle smiles. Like nearly all the young men here for happy hour they were in casual slacks and tie-less dress shirts and wore the ubiquitous insignia of Silicon Valley—corporate identification badges on thin canvas lanyards around their necks.
These two sported the blue cards of Sun Microsystems. Other squadrons represented here were Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Apple, not to mention a slew of new kids on the block, start-up Internet companies, which were held in some disdain by the venerable Valley regulars.
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At thirty-two, Lara Gibson was probably five years older than her two admirers. She figured that it would be two minutes before one of these boys approached her and she missed that estimate by only ten seconds. But those would be women weaker than she. He blinked at her frankness, avoided her staunch eyes and returned to his friend. She sipped her drink. It had been driven by some kid. He was white but his hair was knotted into messy brown dreadlocks. He wore combat fatigues and, despite the overcast and misty rain, sunglasses.
Still, the driver had seemed to stare at her with an eerie hostility. Lara found herself absently fondling the can of pepper spray she kept in her purse. Another glance out the window. She saw only fancy cars bought with dot-com money. A look around the room. Relax, she told herself and sipped her potent martini.
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