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How to uninstall the Restore19 ransomware?

Also Known As: Restore19 virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Restore19 ransomware removal instructions

What is Restore19?

Restore19 ransomware prevents victims from using (accessing) their files by encrypting them and creates a ransom note (a text file named "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT"). It also renames every encrypted file by replacing its filename with a string of random characters, restore19@cock.li email address. For instance, it changes the filename of a file named "1.jpg" to "2g000000001QgxMXggDC0FcKJtNaKjlH.restore19@cock.li", "2.jpg" to "2g000000002JloPEetIR9DgSRbleQpvX.restore19@cock.li", and so on. Restore19 belongs to the Amnesia ransomware family.

In most cases, ransomware creates (or displays, or both) a ransom note to provide victims with instructions on how to contact the attackers, pay them a ransom, details like payment deadline, etc. Restore19 creates the "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT" file to inform victims that their documents, photos, databases, and other files are encrypted, and there is no way to decrypt them without the help of the attackers. The ransom note contains restore19@cock.li email address and a website address that can be used to contact the attackers for instructions on how to pay for the decryption software. Victims are urged to contact cybercriminals within 24 hours from the installation of Restore19. If not, then the attackers will start removing 24 files every 24 hours. Moreover, victims are informed that they have 72 hours to pay a ransom. After that price of the decryption software will be doubled every 72 hours.

Unfortunately, victims of the Restore19 attack can recover their files for free only by restoring them from a backup. There are no third-party tools that could decrypt Restore19's encryption, at least not at the current moment. It is not advisable to pay ransomware developers a ransom even when there is no data backup that could be used to recover files. It is because cybercriminals often do not send any decryption software or key even if victims pay them. It is not recommended to pay up because of the high risk of getting scammed. Also, it is important to remove ransomware from the infected computer as soon as possible. Otherwise, that ransomware may infect other computers on the same network or encrypt new files. It is noteworthy that encrypted files do not become accessible even when ransomware is no longer installed on the operating system.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Restore19 decrypt instructions (HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT)

Most ransomware variants are quite alike. Their main purpose is to encrypt files and generate a ransom note with contact, payment, or other details. Some more ransomware examples are GARMIN, JDPR, and .crypt (Amnesia). In most cases, the main differences between ransomware variants are the cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that they use to encrypt files (to block access to them) and the amount of cryptocurrency that the attackers ask to be paid. Usually, it is nearly impossible to decrypt files without tools that only the attackers can provide. Free data recovery is possible only when ransomware has some bugs, flaws (or other vulnerabilities). Although, it happens pretty rarely. For his reason, it is recommended to have data backed up store and it on a remote server or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is common that users infect their computer when they use various fake software updaters and unofficial activation tools. Fake updaters infect systems by installing malware instead of updating or fixing software, or by exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on the user's computer. Software 'cracking' tools are supposed to activate licensed software (illegally). Nevertheless, it is very common for such tools to be bundled with malware (to be used as channels to proliferate malware). Furthermore, downloads from unreliable sources like freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrents, eMule etc.), various third-party downloaders, etc., can be malicious too. Pretty often, they are used to distribute malicious files by disguising them as regular, legitimate. Users install malware when they download and open those files.

One of the most common ways to unknowingly install malware on a computer is to open a malicious email attachment or a file downloaded via a link in an email received from cybercriminals. Some examples of files that can be used to deliver malware via email are malicious Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, executable files like .exe, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), JavaScript files. It is important to remember that when cybercriminals send emails to spread malware, they pretend to be legitimate entities. One more way to distribute malicious software is to trick users into installing a certain Trojan on their computers. There are certain Trojans that can open backdoors for other malicious software/install additional malware. Usually, cybercriminals use one of the previously mentioned methods to distribute Trojans.

Threat Summary:
Name Restore19 virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Ransom Demanding Message HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT
Cyber Criminal Contact restore19@cock.li, provided website
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Amnesia.C), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.FS), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Generic), MaxSecure (Trojan.Malware.300983.susgen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Installed programs have to be updated and activated with implemented functions (or tools) that their developers provide. No third-party (unofficial) tool is safe to use. It is common that these tools are malicious (bundled with malware). Moreover, it is not legal to use unofficial tools to activate licensed programs or use pirated, hacked programs. Furthermore, website links or files/attachments in irrelevant emails should not be opened. The same applies to links and files in emails received from unknown, suspicious senders. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links only. Unofficial websites, third-party downloaders (and installers), free file hosting pages, etc., are not reliable channels for downloading files, programs. A computer should be scanned for threats on a regular basis. It should be done using a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with Restore19, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Appearance of the "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT" ransom note (GIF):

restore19 ransomware ransom note appearance

Text in the "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT" file (in Russian and English languages):

Добрый день.

Ваши файлы, документы, фото, базы данных и все остальное НЕ УДАЛЕНЫ.
Они зашифрованы WannaCry самым надежным шифрованием.
Восстановить файлы НЕВОЗМОЖНО без нашей помощи.
Будете  пытаться  восстановить  файлы  самостоятельно- потеряете файлы
НАВСЕГДА.
----------------------------------------------------------
Востановить файлы Вы сможете так:
1. связаться с нами по e-mail: restore19@cock.li
 * сообщите Ваш ID и мы выключим произвольное удаление файлов
   (если  не  сообщите  Ваш  ID  идентификатор, то каждые 24 часа будет
   удаляться по 24 файла. Если сообщите ID- мы выключим это)

 * высылаете Ваш идентификатор ID и 2 файла, размером до 1 мб каждый.
   Мы их расшифровываем, в доказательство возможности расшифровки.
   также получаете инструкцию куда и сколько нужно заплатить.

2. оплачиваете и подтверждаете оплату.

3. после оплаты получаете программу ДЕШИФРАТОР. которой восстанавливаете ВСЕ ВАШИ ФАЙЛЫ.
----------------------------------------------------------

У Вас есть 72 часа на оплату.

Если не успеете за 72 часа оплатить, то цена расшифровки увеличивается в 2 раза.
Цена увеличивается в 2 раза каждые 72 часа.
Если не оплатите в течении 7 суток- Ваши файлы будут удалены навсегда.

Чтобы восстановить файлы, без потерь, и по минимальному тарифу, Вы должны оплатить в течении 72 часов.
За подробными инструкциями обращайтесь e-mail: restore19@cock.li

 * Если не будете терять время на попытки расшифровать, то сможете восстановить все файлы за час.
 * Если будете пытаться сами расшифровать- можете потерять Ваши файлы НАВСЕГДА.
 * Дешифраторы других пользователей несовместимы с Вашими данными, так как у каждого пользователя
уникальный ключ шифрования


------------------ P.S. ---------------------------------
Если связаться через почту не получается
 * Зарегистрируйтесь на сайте hxxp://bitmsg.me (сервис онлайн отправки Bitmessage)
 * Напишите письмо на адрес BM-2cVChsbUqL5H1nw98qrwbQkzdE1UqCs8nH с указанием Вашей почты и
личного идентификатора и мы с Вами сами свяжемся.

Если у Вас нет биткойнов
 * Создайте кошелек Bitcoin: hxxps://blockchain.info/ru/wallet/new
 * Приобретите криптовалюту Bitcoin удобным способом:
   hxxps://localbitcoins.com/ru/buy_bitcoins (Visa/MasterCard, QIWI Visa Wallet и др.)
   hxxps://ru.bitcoin.it/wiki/Приобретение_биткойнов (инструкция для новичков)

 - Не имеет смысла жаловаться на нас и устраивать истерику.
 - Жалобами заблокировав e-mail, Вы лишаете возможность остальных, расшифровать свои компьютеры.
   Остальных, у кого также зашифрованы компьютеры Вы лишаете ЕДИНСТВЕННОЙ НАДЕЖДЫ расшифровать. НАВСЕГДА.
 - Просто войдите с нами в контакт, оговорим условия расшифровки файлов и доступной оплаты,
   в дружественной обстановке.
---------------------------------------------------------


Ваш Идентификатор:
-

=========================================================

                  Hello.

Your files, documents, photo, databases and all the rest aren't REMOVED.
They are ciphered by WannaCry the most reliable enciphering.
It is impossible to restore files without our help.
You will try to restore files independent you will lose files
FOREVER.
----------------------------------------------------------
You will be able to restore files so:
1. to contact us by e-mail: restore19@cock.li
* report your ID and we will switch off any removal of files
  (if don't report your ID identifier, then each 24 hours will be
  to be removed on 24 files. If report to ID-we will switch off it)

* you send your ID identifier and 2 files, up to 1 MB in size everyone.
  We decipher them, as proof of a possibility of interpretation.
  also you receive the instruction where and how many it is necessary to pay.

2. you pay and confirm payment.

3. after payment you receive the DECODER program. which you restore ALL YOUR FILES.
----------------------------------------------------------

You have 72 hours on payment.

If you don't manage to pay in 72 hours, then the price of interpretation increases twice.
The price increases twice each 72 hours.

To restore files, without loss, and on the minimum tariff, you have to pay within 72 hours.
Address for detailed instructions e-mail: restore19@cock.li

 * If you don't waste time for attempts to decipher, then you will be able to restore all files in 1 hour.
 * If you try to decipher - you can FOREVER lose your files.
 * Decoders of other users are incompatible with your data as at each user
unique key of enciphering

------------------ P.S. ----------------------------------
If it is impossible to communicate through mail
 * Be registered on the website hxxp://bitmsg.me (service online of sending Bitmessage)
 * Write the letter to the address BM-2cVChsbUqL5H1nw98qrwbQkzdE1UqCs8nH with the indication of your mail and
the personal identifier and we will communicate.

If you have no bitcoins
 * Create Bitcoin purse: hxxps://blockchain.info/ru/wallet/new
 * Buy Bitcoin in the convenient way:
   hxxps://localbitcoins.com/ru/buy_bitcoins (Visa/MasterCard, QIWI Visa Wallet, etc.)
   hxxps://ru.bitcoin.it/wiki/Priobreteniye_bitkoynov (the instruction for beginners)

 - It doesn't make sense to complain of us and to arrange a hysterics.
 - Complaints having blocked e-mail, you deprive a possibility of the others, to decipher the computers.
   Other people at whom computers are also ciphered you deprive of the ONLY hope to decipher. FOREVER.
 - Just contact with us, we will stipulate conditions of interpretation of files and available payment,
   in a friendly situation.
---------------------------------------------------------


Your Identifier
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Restore19 (filenames replaced using "[random_string].restore19@cock.li" pattern):

Files encrypted by Restore19 ransomware ([random_string].restore19@cock.li pattern)

Restore19 ransomware removal:

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Quick menu:

Reporting ransomware to authorities:

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we recommend reporting this incident to authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies you will help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers. Here's a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack. For the complete list of local cybersecurity centers and information on why you should report ransomware attacks, read this article.

List of local authorities where ransomware attacks should be reported (choose one depending on your residence address):

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device, and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, a ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, crypto wallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cybercriminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use the Recuva tool developed by CCleaner. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data). In addition, the recovery feature is completely free.

Step 1: Perform a scan.

Run the Recuva application and follow the wizard. You will be prompted with several windows allowing you to choose what file types to look for, which locations should be scanned, etc. All you need to do is select the options you're looking for and start the scan. We advise you to enable the "Deep Scan" before starting, otherwise, the application's scanning capabilities will be restricted.

Recuva data recovery tool wizard

Wait for Recuva to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundred gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:

Recuva data recovery tool scan time

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data:

Recuva data recovery tool recovering data

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all the necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: One of the most reliable backup methods is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from the sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach, although it's a really rare occasion.

We recommend using Microsoft OneDrive for backing up your files. OneDrive lets you store your personal files and data in the cloud, sync files across computers and mobile devices, allowing you to access and edit your files from all of your Windows devices. OneDrive lets you save, share and preview files, access download history, move, delete, and rename files, as well as create new folders, and much more.

You can back up your most important folders and files on your PC (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders). Some of OneDrive’s more notable features include file versioning, which keeps older versions of files for up to 30 days. OneDrive features a recycling bin in which all of your deleted files are stored for a limited time. Deleted files are not counted as part of the user’s allocation.

The service is built using HTML5 technologies and allows you to upload files up to 300 MB via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 10 GB via the OneDrive desktop application. With OneDrive, you can download entire folders as a single ZIP file with up to 10,000 files, although it can’t exceed 15 GB per single download.

OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage out of the box, with an additional 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available for a subscription-based fee. You can get one of these storage plans by either purchasing additional storage separately or with Office 365 subscription.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is the same for all file types and folders. Here’s how you can back up your files using Microsoft OneDrive

Step 1: Choose the files/folders you want to backup.

Click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar

Click the OneDrive cloud icon to open the OneDrive menu. While in this menu, you can customize your file backup settings.

Select Help & Settings and click Settings

Click Help & Settings and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Select the Backup tab and click Manage backup

Go to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.

Select folders to backup and click Start backup

In this menu, you can choose to backup the Desktop and all of the files on it, and Documents and Pictures folders, again, with all of the files in them. Click Start backup.

Now, when you add a file or folder in the Desktop and Documents and Pictures folders, they will be automatically backed up on OneDrive.

To add folders and files, not in the locations shown above, you have to add them manually.

Select a file manually and copy it

Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder/file you want to backup. Select the item, right-click it, and click Copy.

Paste the copied file in the OneDrive folder to create a backup

Then, navigate to OneDrive, right-click anywhere in the window and click Paste. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop a file into OneDrive. OneDrive will automatically create a backup of the folder/file.

File statuses in OneDrive folder

All of the files added to the OneDrive folder are backed up in the cloud automatically. The green circle with the checkmark in it indicates that the file is available both locally and on OneDrive and that the file version is the same on both. The blue cloud icon indicates that the file has not been synced and is available only on OneDrive. The sync icon indicates that the file is currently syncing.

Click Help & Settings and click View Online

To access files only located on OneDrive online, go to the Help & Settings drop-down menu and select View online.

Click the Settings cog and click Options

Step 2: Restore corrupted files.

OneDrive makes sure that the files stay in sync, so the version of the file on the computer is the same version on the cloud. However, if ransomware has encrypted your files, you can take advantage of OneDrive’s Version history feature that will allow you to restore the file versions prior to encryption.

Microsoft 365 has a ransomware detection feature that notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and guide you through the process of restoring your files. It must be noted, however, that if you don’t have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription, you only get one detection and file recovery for free.

If your OneDrive files get deleted, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous state. Here’s how you can restore your entire OneDrive:

restore-your-onedrive

1. If you're signed in with a personal account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Options and select Restore your OneDrive.

If you're signed in with a work or school account,  click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Restore your OneDrive.

2. On the Restore your OneDrive page, select a date from the drop-down list. Note that if you're restoring your files after automatic ransomware detection, a restore date will be selected for you.

3. After configuring all of the file restoration options, click Restore to undo all the activities you selected.

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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