UPDATE: Jackson and Hillsdale County schools will be closed again on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The Jackson County Intermediate School District is continuing to work with cyber security experts after being targeted in a ransomware attack.

A ransomware attack is when hackers gain control of computer data and demand a ransom in exchange for relinquishing access back to its owner.

6 News spoke with MSU Criminal Justice Professor Tom Holt to shed more light on the effects of ransomware attacks.

Superintendent Kevin Oxley released the following statement:

“While we have made tremendous progress on our restoration efforts since our last update, we still have some work to do to ensure every system is safe and secure before bringing them back online. The security of our learning environment is a top priority and any attempt to rush this process could put our networks at additional risk. Unfortunately, that means schools will remain closed for tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Students and school employees should continue to refrain from using any school devices until the network is deemed secure.

We have top cybersecurity experts on site who are continuing to work around the clock to resolve this situation and we hope to have additional updates to share soon. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your patience and understanding.”

JACKSON CO, Mich. (WLSN) – Multiple schools closed on Monday, November 14, in Jackson County after a ransomware attack on the districts’ computers.

The Jackson County Intermediate School District confirmed the ransomware attack on social media. The attack was first detected over the previous weekend.

Ransomware attacks use software that encrypts files on a computer, making the files useless unless the victim pays the attacker, usually in cryptocurrency.

“We have engaged external cybersecurity advisors to assist in the safe restoration of our systems and to investigate. We have also contacted law enforcement,” said Jackson Co. Intermediate School District Superintendent Kevin Oxley on social media.

“Our teams are working around the clock to bring systems back up in a safe and secure manner. We will provide an operating status update later today. At this time, we continue to ask everyone to refrain from using any school-issued devices.”

It’s unclear how many schools were affected by the attack.