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Malicious Life

Malicious Life

Malicious Life by Cybereason tells the unknown stories of the history of cybersecurity, with comments and reflections by real hackers, security experts, journalists, and politicians.

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Episodes

NotPetya, Part 1

On June 28th, 2017, millions of Ukranians were celebrating 'Constitution Day.' Their national holiday turned into a nightmare, as tens of thousands of computers all over the country were infected by a mysterious malware. By that afternoon, the cyber-pandemic was already going global.

The post NotPetya, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2021-03-01
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Facial Recognition in Law Enforcement, Pt. 2

It seems likely that legislation alone won't be able to regulate the widespread use of facial recognition. Andrew Maximov, who uses AI to fight Belarus's dictatorship, shows us another way facical recognition can be used - this time for us, instead of against us.

The post Facial Recognition in Law Enforcement, Pt. 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2021-02-16
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Should Law Enforcement Use Facial Recognition? Pt. 1

There are plenty of reasons why Police should use AI for facial recognition: after all, Humans are notoriously bad eye witnesses. However, placing AI in the hands of law enforcement does have its dangers - due to the limitations of the technology itself, and the biases of the officers who use it.

The post Should Law Enforcement Use Facial Recognition? Pt. 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2021-02-03
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Clearview AI

Clearview AI scrapes billions of images off social media and the open web, applies facial recognition algorithms on them - and sells that data to law enforcement agencies all over the world. But who are the people behind this secretive company, and what did a breach into its databases reveal?

The post Clearview AI appeared first on Malicious Life.

2021-01-21
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Breaking Into Secure Buildings

FC, aka 'Freaky Clown', is an expert in "Physical assessments" - otherwise known as breaking into ultra-secure office buildings. FC shares some of his (incredible) adventures, as well as some tips and tricks on how to protect your organization's HQ from hackers such as himself.

The post Breaking Into Secure Buildings appeared first on Malicious Life.

2021-01-07
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Special: The SolarWinds Hack

Ran talks to Israel Barak, Cybereason's CISO and a Cyber-defense and Warfare expert, about the recent SolarWinds hack that impacted upto 18,000(!) enterprise organizations in the US. What is a Supply Chain Attack, how can organizations defend against it - and what does all this have to do with Evolution and Natural Selection?...

The post Special: The SolarWinds Hack appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-12-28
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100th Episode Special

For our 100th episode, we bring you three stories that tie in to previous episodes of the show: Shadow Inc. (Election Hacking), J&K (Max Headroom) and T-Shirt-Gate (Yahoo's Ugly Death). Enjoy :-)

The post 100th Episode Special appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-12-21
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Jan Sloot’s Incredible Data Compression System

In the mid-90's, a Dutch TV repairman claimed he invented a revolutionary data compression technology that could compress a full-length movie into just 8KB.

The post Jan Sloot?s Incredible Data Compression System appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-12-07
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Op. GUNMAN & The World’s First Keylogger

In 1983, the US got word that an ally's embassy - probably France's - was bugged by the Soviets. This reports triggered Operation GUNMAN: a complete removal & de-bugging of *all* electronic devices in the US embassy in the USSR. This secretive operation resulted in a surprising discovery - and made the NSA what it is today.

The post Op. GUNMAN & The World?s First Keylogger appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-11-22
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Election Hacking, Part 2

Georgia's elections infrastructure had been hacked multiple times since 2014 - both by Russian Intelligence and local White Hat hackers. The upcoming elections are plagued with uncertainty - and uncertainty and democracy go together like wet hands and electrical outlets.

The post Election Hacking, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-11-03
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Election Hacking, Part 1

Today we?re talking about just one state. One which, depending on which way it leans, might bring the entire electoral college with it. One which, as of this writing, is absolutely, positively, neck and neck. Dead heat. A few votes one way or the other could swing it. In other words: this is the kind of state that cannot afford to be hacked. But might be.

The post Election Hacking, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-10-22
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MDR Vs. The TrickBot Gang

About a year ago, Cybereason's Managed Detection and Response team (aka MDR) stumbled upon a attack involving Russian cybercriminals, POS devices and an entire new family of previously undiscovered malware.

The post MDR Vs. The TrickBot Gang appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-10-12
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Yahoo’s Ugly Death, Part 2

Between 2010 and 2014, Yahoo was hacked numerous times - each time setting a new 'world record' for the largest data breach in history. It also hid those breaches from it's investors, customers and the SEC.

The post Yahoo?s Ugly Death, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-09-25
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Yahoo’s Ugly Death, Part 1

When Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as CEO, the company's stock rose 2% the day of the announcement. But the new CEO was basically initiated into her job by a major data breath - and the worst was yet to come.

The post Yahoo?s Ugly Death, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-09-11
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The Great Firewall of China, Pt. 2: Cisco’s Trial

Falun Gong is a religious movement heavily persecuted in China. In 2017, members of the movement sued Cisco Systems for aiding and abetting the Chinese government in this persecution - since Cisco helped China erect 'Golden Shield'": the massive Chinese IT infrastructure project which combined internet censorship and pervasive Chinese state cyberspying.

The post The Great Firewall of China, Pt. 2: Cisco?s Trial appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-08-27
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The Great Firewall of China – Part 1

The Great Firewall is just mind-bogglingly big, repressing freedom of speech and information for over 800 million Chinese internet users every year. The Great Firewall is so big that it?s worth asking: how did the Chinese manage to build it in the first place? 20 years ago, our info-sec technology was much less advanced than it is today. China was a second-rate technology power, not even comparable to their position today. Most of all: a firewall, like the one they proposed, had never existed before--or, for that matter, since. How, then, did they pull it off?

The post The Great Firewall of China ? Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-08-14
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Multi-Stage Ransomware (Live!)

Ran & Israel Barak, Cybereason's CISO, discuss the latest development in ransomware evolution: multi-stage attacks in which the attackers infiltrate the target network, steal data and gather intelligence - before detonating the ransomware to cause maximal denial-of-service to the victim organization. What does this new tactic mean for the use of backups as a mean to mitigate the risk from ransomware?
This episode was recorded live on July 29th, 2020.

The post Multi-Stage Ransomware (Live!) appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-08-02
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Protecting The “Panama Papers” Whistleblower

In 2015 Bastian Obermayer, an investigative journalist for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, received a message every journalist dreams of: the biggest leak in journalism history. But dealing with the massive 2.7 Terabyte data-dump, 11.5 million documents - while making sure his source's identity could not be uncovered, turned out to be a huge challenge.

The post Protecting The ?Panama Papers? Whistleblower appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-07-16
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From Ransomware To Blackmail, With Assaf Dahan

Hackers keep modifying and improving their methods of operations. Assaf Dahan, Sr. Director and Head of Threat Research at Cybereason, tells us about the recent shift to Blackmail - as a way to pressure Ransomware victims to pay the ransom.

The post From Ransomware To Blackmail, With Assaf Dahan appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-07-07
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SegWit2x, Part 3

On August 1st, 2017, Bitcoin forked. But it wasn't the SegWit2x fork everyone was talking about - It was a different fork, supported by a coalition of miners who, in doing what they were doing, were essentially ditching SegWit2x in favor of their own scaling solution. What happened here? Who betrayed SegWit2x?

The post SegWit2x, Part 3 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-07-03
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SegWit2x, Part 2

SegWit2x was proposed as a solution to Bitcoin's network problems - but some people in the anti-2x movement claimed that it is nothing less than a cyber-attack: a 51% attack on Bitcoin, to be precise. This is getting ugly.

The post SegWit2x, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-06-19
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Hacking Fortnite Accounts (CPRadio)

A black market economy has developed around Fortnite's in-game currency. Cyber criminals are hacking user accounts, juicing credit cards, and selling virtual currency for real-life dollars and cents. To ensure fun and safety for players, the cycle must be stopped.

The post Hacking Fortnite Accounts (CPRadio) appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-06-11
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SegWit2x, or – The Year Bitcoiners Will Never Forget, Part 1

In 2017, Bitcoin was winning. Money, attention, success poured out of every seam. It appeared that a golden age had dawned. But just under the surface, the network was teetering on the verge of collapse. Technical problems that were just nuisances when the community was small now became glaring and potentially lethal. Debates among tight communities of knowledgeable users and developers ballooned into full-on internet wars. Factions hardened. Heroes became enemies of the people.

The post SegWit2x, or ? The Year Bitcoiners Will Never Forget, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-06-04
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No Honor Among Thieves

Amit Serper was doing a routine inspection on a client's network, when he came across a suspicious-looking pen-testing tool, exhibiting RAT-like behavior. We'll follow Amit's investigation, and in the process learn the basics of cyber research.

The post No Honor Among Thieves appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-05-22
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Cybersecurity during a crisis: how remote work has impacted security – With Sam Curry

The COVID19 pandemic forced organizations to transition to a work-from-home model - and many of them were unprepared for such a radical departure from the ?normal? security perimeter. Sam Curry, Cybereason's CSO, talks to Ran about the lessons learned from COVID19, and what steps should Cyber Security professionals take in order to be ready for a future outbreak.

The post Cybersecurity during a crisis: how remote work has impacted security ? With Sam Curry appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-05-14
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The Problem With Passwords

At the end of our last episode, it kind of seemed like Huawei--the Chinese telecommunications company accused of aiding in state cyberspying--was completely innocent. They were being accused of crimes they may not have committed, based on evidence that largely did not exist. The conspiracies around them seemed unfair at best, malicious at worst. But there?s another side to this story, of course. Huawei didn?t end up on people?s radars for no reason. They?ve earned their notoriety.

The post The Problem With Passwords appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-05-08
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The Huawei Ban, Part 2

At the end of our last episode, it kind of seemed like Huawei--the Chinese telecommunications company accused of aiding in state cyberspying--was completely innocent. They were being accused of crimes they may not have committed, based on evidence that largely did not exist. The conspiracies around them seemed unfair at best, malicious at worst. But there?s another side to this story, of course. Huawei didn?t end up on people?s radars for no reason. They?ve earned their notoriety.

The post The Huawei Ban, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-04-23
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The Huawei Ban, Part 1

Over the past 20 years, western governments have accused Huawei of everything from IP theft to financial fraud to cyber spying. Often, these claims are made either with no evidence, or only circumstantial evidence. Is Huawei really a national security threat, or are they a political scapegoat?

The post The Huawei Ban, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-04-09
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The Max Headroom Signal Hijack

On November 22nd, 1987, a hacker took over the signals of two Chicago-area TV stations and broadcast two bizarre and somewhat vulgar messages. In this episode we explore this notorious hack, and its implications on the nature of hacking in general.

The post The Max Headroom Signal Hijack appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-03-24
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ToTok, Part 3: Becoming a Spyware Superpower

The fact that ToTok came out of the United Arab Emirates is no surprise: in recent years, the UAE has deployed some of the most sophisticated mobile device exploits ever seen. But they got a lot of help from one country in particular... today?s episode is about the UAE. But it?s really about the Americans.

The post ToTok, Part 3: Becoming a Spyware Superpower appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-03-15
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ToTok, Part 2: The Masterminds of Mobile Malware

The corporate structure supporting ToTok involved at least half a dozen real companies, shell companies and intelligence groups, with the individuals who actually operated the app being hidden behind other individuals given sinecure jobs and ponied around to the public as the supposed developers. Ultimately, though, every path that begins with ToTok ends with one very rich and powerful man at the heart of the Emirati state. His name is Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

The post ToTok, Part 2: The Masterminds of Mobile Malware appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-03-10
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ToTok, Part 1: How to Convince Someone to Download Spyware

Only a few months after its release, ToTok - an ordinary messaging app, with no exceptional features - had over five million downloads, and held the number 4 position in Apple's App Store global charts. So what was it that made ToTok so popular, so quickly? The answer: nothing good.

The post ToTok, Part 1: How to Convince Someone to Download Spyware appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-03-05
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How To Defend A Bank, Part 2: Right Of Bang

As much as we can imagine what it?s like to be a defender in a cyber-conflict, we don?t really know what it is - unless we?re in the shoes the time of it happening. That's what simulations are for.

The post How To Defend A Bank, Part 2: Right Of Bang appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-02-27
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How To Defend A Bank, Part 1: Fusion Centers

Banks & other financial institutions face a variety of security threats: from state-sponsored cyber-attacks, to smaller acts of fraud, to thousands of random malware attacks from the web. To survive in this hostile landscape, these organizations turned to the military for inspiration.

The post How To Defend A Bank, Part 1: Fusion Centers appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-02-13
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Triton, Part 2: The World?s Most Dangerous Malware

Petro Rabigh were facing lots of problems in defending their systems. But they did get lucky in one sense: their hackers were unprepared when their plan went awry. Who were the hackers that infiltrated the Saudi petrochemical plant, and what can this breach teach us?

The post Triton, Part 2: The World?s Most Dangerous Malware appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-01-30
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Triton: A Malware Designed To Kill Humans, Part 1

Industrial Security requires a different skill set--really, an entirely different mindset than working in IT does. In this episode we dive into the story of one of the most dangerous malware ever to be discovered in the wild: Triton/Trisis.

The post Triton: A Malware Designed To Kill Humans, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-01-16
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Deep Fakes, Part 2: Man Vs. Machine

Deep Fakes are set to revolutionize content creation, but alongside this technology's benefits, it also has the potential two sow havoc, fear, and distrust via Social Networks. Just this week, Facebook disclosed a network of fake users it found, whose profile images were all deep faked. So, how can we identify deep fakes - even before they go online?

The post Deep Fakes, Part 2: Man Vs. Machine appeared first on Malicious Life.

2020-01-02
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GAN and Deep Fakes, Part 1

Over the past two years, the internet has been inundated with celebrity Deep Fake videos of all kinds: Obama, Putin, and Trump deliver speeches they never gave, Gal Gadot "stars? in a porn video, and professional comedians such as Bill Hader eerily turn into the people they impersonate, like Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What all of these videos have in common is that they were mostly created by amateur developers or small startups with tight budgets - but their quality is surprisingly good, and in some cases as good as what the biggest movie studios were able to produce with huge budgets just a few years ago.

So what happened in the last five years, that turned special effects from being the exclusive domain of industry experts - into something a 14-year-old can create more or less at the touch of a button? Like the top end of a floating glacier, Deep Fakes are by and large only the visible product of a fascinating - and much deeper - technological revolution in the field of artificial intelligence. As we shall soon see, this revolution has the potential to put some very powerful tools in the hands of both attackers and defenders in the world of cyber-security.

The post GAN and Deep Fakes, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-12-19
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Sam Curry: The 2020 Crystal Ball

Sam Curry is Cybereason's Chief Security Officer and an award-winning cyber security visionary. Sam & Ran discuss Sam's upcoming webinar, in which he will present his insights into what 2020 will bring for the security industry: the rise of 5G cellular networks, The US Presidential Elections, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and more.

The post Sam Curry: The 2020 Crystal Ball appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-12-10
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Human Side Channels

Even the best hackers are human, and humans are inescapably unique. Forensic Linguistics, Behavioral Signatures and Cultural Captchas can help defenders identify and (maybe) catch even the best of hackers.

The post Human Side Channels appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-12-05
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What’s the problem with Cyber Insurance?

Thousands of companies are losing millions of dollars to cyber attacks. An insurance seems an ideal solution to their woes - yet this kind of insurance is much less common today, than it should be. What's the problem with Cyber insurance?

The post What?s the problem with Cyber Insurance? appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-11-21
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Gozi B-Side: Amit Serper & Sam Curry

Nate Nelson speaks with Amit Serper & Sam Curry, notable veteran in Cyber Security, about Malware-As-A-Service, bullet-proof hosting, avoiding the lure of the 'dark side' and more.

The post Gozi B-Side: Amit Serper & Sam Curry appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-11-19
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Gozi, Part 2

In 2010, Nikita Kuzmin returned to the malware scene with Gozi 2.0, an improved version of the successful banking Trojan. How did Gozi 2.0 fair against Zeus & the new generation of Trojans, and what can we learn from Nikita's story about how does one become a malicious hacker in the first place?

The post Gozi, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-11-14
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B-Side: Lodrina Cherne On Stalkerware

In this out-of-band episode, we're bringing you the full interview with Lodrina Cherne, a Digital Forensics Expert, on Spyware : what is it, how it works, who sells it, and how you can avoid it yourself.

The post B-Side: Lodrina Cherne On Stalkerware appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-11-08
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Gozi, Part 1: The Rise of Malware-as-a-Service

Nikita Kuzmin could have been a whiz programmer or a CEO of a successful startup. But as a teen in Moscow, he fell in with the wrong crowd, and his entrepreneurial skills found a different path: Gozi, the oddest and most brilliant malware operation ever conceived to that point in time.

The post Gozi, Part 1: The Rise of Malware-as-a-Service appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-10-31
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How is Spyware Legal?

Today's Cyber Stalkers have free access to almost government-grade spyware software with which they can terrorize their victims. Who's enabling the commercial spyware market?

The post How is Spyware Legal? appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-10-17
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Listeners Survey Special

Ran and Eliad Kimhi, one of the show's top producers, discuss the recent Listener's Survey results: what do like and dislike about the show, ideas you gave us for future improvements - and what do our listeners think about Ran's accent?...

The post Listeners Survey Special appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-10-10
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Operation Aurora, Part 2

Google, it turned out, was only one of 35 major US corporations hit in Aurora. Was is an espionage campaign, or could it be that it all began with one top ranking Chinese official who googled his own name - and wasn't happy with the search results?...

The post Operation Aurora, Part 2 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-09-26
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Operation Aurora, Part 1

In January 2010, Google revealed in its blog that it was hacked. This attack, since known as Operation Aurora, is attributed to China. In this series of episodes, we'll expose the complicated and often turbulent relationship between the world's largest internet company, and the world's most populated nation.

The post Operation Aurora, Part 1 appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-09-12
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Responding to a Cyber Attack with Missiles

Is the use of deadly force a legitimate ? and practical ? response to cyber attacks? what lessons did Israel learn from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 about the best way to manage it?s offensive cyber units? How can governments ?signal? to their opponents their cyber power, without actually deploying cyber weapons? Join us [?]

The post Responding to a Cyber Attack with Missiles appeared first on Malicious Life.

2019-08-29
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