(November 17, 2022 8:47 PM) The Jackson County Intermediate School District released a video update from ISD Superintendent Kevin Oxley on the ransomware attack (below). The ISD also provided a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
Jackson County ISD Ransomware Attack – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it safe to return?
Yes, it is safe for our students to return back to school. While our recovery efforts continue, we prioritized bringing essential systems back online in order to allow us to safely resume operations and reopen school buildings across Jackson and Hillsdale counties.
2. Is the threat contained?
Yes. To date, we have no evidence to suggest our systems are still at risk. Our essential systems are safely up and running for use by teachers, staff, students, and parents, while certain supplementary systems are actively being restored.
3. Are the criminals responsible for this attack targeting my child?
We have no evidence to suggest any individual was the target of this attack. Ransomware attacks such as these are typically opportunistic crimes in search of financial gain.
4. Have you contacted law enforcement?
Yes, we have contacted law enforcement.
5. What steps were taken to secure the environment?
Immediately upon discovering suspicious activity, we proactively took systems offline in order to contain the incident. We have engaged external cybersecurity advisors to investigate and assist in the safe restoration of our systems. We have also notified law enforcement.
6. Are all systems back online?
At this time, our essential systems are safely up and running for use by teachers, staff, students, and parents, while certain supplementary systems are actively being restored.
7. Why can’t we have more details about the attack?
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and investigations of this nature may take some time. We are committed to sharing updates with you as necessary as the investigation progresses.
8. Is my or my child’s data at risk?
Our technology team is currently working alongside third-party cybersecurity experts to investigate the scope of this incident. If we determine sensitive data may have been affected as the result of this incident, we will notify individuals in accordance with our obligations.
9. How can I protect my family in the meantime?
We encourage everyone to use standard cybersecurity best practices including frequently changing your passwords, having different passwords across your personal and professional logins, and not opening emails from people and businesses you are not familiar with.
There are also steps you can take to vigilant against any potential incidents of identity theft and fraud. You can review your credit reports, as well as credit card, bank, and other financial statements for any unauthorized activity. If you notice any unauthorized activity, contact the relevant financial institution or the credit bureau reporting the activity immediately.
10. How do the days off affect the school year?
Jackson County ISD will count Monday, November 14, 2022 – Wednesday, November 16, 2022, as Act of God Days. These days are proactively built into the school year and prevent unforeseen school cancellations from elongating the academic school year.
11. Where do I go if I have additional questions?
At this time, we do not have any additional information to provide. We are committed to sharing updates with you as necessary as the investigation progresses.