Dangers of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software within computer technology, which is also known as malware. Ransomware is a type of malware virus that denies the owner, of a certain software, the access to their files within the software. In sense, if you had a laptop, and you had a Ransomware attack, you would not be able to log into the laptop or access files on it. Ransomware will ask for a payment, preferably in cryptocurrency, before you are allowed to access the software with a code, but most likely you will not be able to, and be asked to pay more.

This was how Ransomware was discovered, and how Ransomware affects peoples’ opinion on technology. It causes many organizations, companies, or businesses to change the technology they are using, or change their servers, networks, or computers entirely, which can cost up to a million dollars.

Their are many ways to be “attacked” by Ransomware. The most common delivery system is “Phishing Spam.” Messages and attachments that are sent to your email, disguising itself as a downloadable software that they need. Once the file has been downloaded, or opened, Ransomware can take over the computer and cause you to input private information, administrative access, etc.

Another form of Ransomware are specific programs that are created. These are more aggressive ways to hack into networks, and are disguised as ads, commercials, etc on the Internet. An example was “Petya.” Petya was a Ransomware application back in 2016 that mainly attacked the Ukraine, and used many different types of networks, software, etc., to forcibly hack into the systems of families, companies, industries, etc., and install Ransomware viruses.

Ransomware has been used as a way for “hackers” to steal money using cryptocurrency and the use of technology to deceive people into paying. Ransomware has caused many companies and businesses to lose nearly $1 million. Ransomware has slowly gained popularity throughout the 20th century because of the new advancements in technology which allowed hackers to easily access networks, servers, etc.

Image Taken from: https://www.computeroptions.net/report-ransomware-attacks-hit-nearly-30-percent-midmarket-organizations-2017/

As in the last passage, Petya is an encrypting Ransomware that infects targeted computers and locks out access to the computer until Bitcoin currency is paid. Petya had attacked Europe, and the U.S., back in 2016, targeting major companies, organizations and businesses. Petya used firm advertisements to infect computers and servers, and infected Microsoft Windows. These ads were similar to WPP ads, food companies, or other ads that would attract consumers, buyers, etc.

Another attack of Ransomware was the, “WannaCry” attack in 2017, where the virus attacked and encrypted Microsoft Window networks, systems and computers and hacked over 230,000 computers in 150 different countries. WannaCry was also able to attack and hack LG Electronics in Asia, and this caused them to shut down all of their networks, servers, and electronics to try and solve the virus. Honda was also affected, and companies nearby and server/networks inspections were enforced to try and get rid of WannaCry Ransomware.

So, ways to not be attacked include: stay away from websites that are not secure, and don’t click on ads. And if you do get hacked, hopefully, you have a hard drive with important files; turn off the computer(s) and try to find someone who can help get rid of the Ransomware. Have anti-malware applications on your computer that protect it from viruses, or firewalls, etc. If all else fails, the only other way is to hopefully be given the code(s) after paying the wanted payment(s).

Image taken from: http://www.zdnet.com/article/wannacry-ransomware-attack-at-lg-electronics-takes-systems-offline/

Walt Disney

Walt Disney was a cartoonist and an animator. He created many movies and multiple T.V. shows. He also made a television channel for kids to enjoy. Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1918 he wanted to enlist in the military, but he was too young so he faked his age and made himself seem older. Once he finished his service in the military, Walt Disney started his career as a cartoonist and animator. On July 13, 1925 he got married, to one of his employees named Lillian Bounds.

Walt Disney’s first cartoon made was called “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” and then they changed him later on to Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney’s first cartoon with sound was called “Steamboat Willie.” Walt Disney created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit before he worked for the Disney Company.

The co-founder of the Walt Disney company is his older brother Roy O. Disney. Walt Disney’s most famous character is Mickey Mouse, who is in many cartoons including comedy shows, and movies. They usually have Mickey go through adventures with his friends Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck, and he often falls in love with another mouse named Minnie Mouse.

Walt Disney had 2 children: a daughter named Diane Miller, and another daughter named Sharon Disney, who is the youngest of the 2. Both of his children have passed away: Sharon passed in 1993, and Diane passed in 2013. Diane published books about her father.

Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, so the Disney Company took over his work and created what the Walt Disney Channel has become today. There are more sounds and real people, but not as many cartoons. They also created Disney World, so they pretty much took Walt Disney’s place when he passed.

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Highland Park blood drive

Highland Park had its annual blood drive on Friday, March 16th. Every year, in the early spring, Highland Park Student Council teams up with the Red Cross to put on a blood drive. It is a great cause because all the blood donated goes to people who need it. Anyone who comes into a hospital needing blood can greatly benefit from donated blood, and it can possibly save their life.

This drive was especially important because the Red Cross has had to cancel over 10 drives due to the harsh Minnesota winter this year, so they had a shorter supply of donated blood, and so were very appreciative of us for helping out.

Each year, Student Council plans a fun theme for the drive, and this year it was “March Madness.” Lots of people had their favorite jerseys on, and games were broadcasted on the projector where everyone could see it. Highland had so many volunteers that there was almost always a few people giving blood, and many extra people were there for backup. This year was definitely one of the biggest blood drives that Highland has had.

Donating blood is a serious matter and there are some rules that cannot be broken if you decide to donate blood:

  • You must be 16 years old
    • If you are 16 you and your guardians need to fill out a parent consent form
  • Males must be at least 5 feet tall and weigh 110 lbs
  • Women who are 4’10 must weigh at least 146 lbs
  • Women who are 4’11 must weigh at least 142 lbs
  • Women who are 5’ must weigh at least 138 lbs
  • Women who are 5’1 must weigh at least 133 lbs
  • Women who are 5’2 must weigh at least 129 lbs
  • Women who are 5’3 must weigh at least 124 lbs
  • Women who are 5’4 must weigh at least 120 lbs
  • Women who are 5’5 must weigh at least 115 lbs
  • The day before you donate blood you must eat plenty of food and stay hydrated

If you decide to donate blood, there are many opportunities during the day. Donating blood starts second hour, but there is a sign up sheet to sign your name on what time best suits you. The times go throughout the school day until the end of 7th hour, but there is no guarantee on how long the process will take. Oftentimes, for some people, the process of donating blood can be quick and take roughly 10 minutes, but for others, the process could be long and take up to a half hour. The process really depends on the person.

After you have finished donating blood, you still have to wait another 10-15 minutes before you can leave. During this time you are supposed to just sit and relax and eat some of the snacks provided to make sure you are O.K. before you can go. This is also done to prevent sudden movements like standing up too fast, which could lead to you being lightheaded or fainting.

There are some things to consider before you decide to donate blood. One of these major considerations is whether or not you are involved in sports. Donating blood could render you unable to participate in some sports for a short period of time. For example, if you are playing a sport that involves high activity, such as running track, and you decide to donate blood, you would not be able to do track for a short period of time due to the fact that it takes a while to recover from losing a pint of blood. Participating in these sports could cause health risks such as fainting.

However, if you are participating in a sport that does not involve high activity, such as golf, donating blood shouldn’t affect your ability to participate in that sport.

Talking to your coach about donating blood is also a good idea before you decide to donate blood.

Another major consideration when it comes to donating blood is your own personal health. If you have any health factors that could affect your ability to donate blood, you should talk to your doctor and guardians to make sure donating blood would be a safe choice for you.

We encourage everyone to participate in a blood drive, whether it’s next year at Highland, or somewhere else throughout the year. When Student Council would talk to people who were drawing blood, we asked why they chose to participate today, and almost everyone said that they wanted to give back to the community and give back to people that need it. It really is an amazing opportunity to do good in the world.

Everyone who participates walks out feeling really good about what they did, and proud of helping people. Many people go into it thinking it will be super painful, and a terrible experience, but those that have done it have said that it does not hurt at all, and after a few minutes they were totally comfortable. Giving blood is a really fun experience. You are surrounded by medical technicians that want to help you, and Student Council members are there to help you ease through the process. There are stuffed animals, music, an area with mats to hang out on after your donation, March Madness, fun movies, and tons of snacks!!