It’s even worse than originally thought. Today’s top news includes an update about the Yahoo data breach I wrote about yesterday. Now it’s being reported that at least 500 million Yahoo customer user accounts were hacked back in July.  I now repeat with even greater emphasis and urgency what I said in yesterday’s post — Yahoo customers have to change their passwords right now!

Why is this mega data breach only being announced now by Yahoo — who knows the real reasons? The company is saying some of the usual reasons offered when there’s this kind of 2+ month delay. They’re saying they needed time to investigate the breach after there were the first signs detected that accounts were being hacked. The cynics — or realists — among us might also suggest that Yahoo wanted to wait until the Verizon deal was completed.

Regardless, the damage is done. What information was hacked? Per Yahoo, the hackers might have gotten customers’ email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and answers to security questions. Yahoo claims that customers’ credit card numbers weren’t stolen since that information is kept in a separate system.

However, Yahoo customers shouldn’t assume that there won’t be ways hackers can use the information they’ve already gotten to try and gain access to customers’ financial information.

Again, Yahoo customers must change their passwords ASAP and be very alert to suspicious financial transactions on credit and debit cards as well as bank accounts.