Some 174 million digital records were compromised by data intruders in 2011, according to Verizon's annual data breach report.

The number of records clipped by cyber criminals increased by more than 4,000 percent over 2010, when only four million records were compromised.

The large increase in data thievery can be attributed partially by hacktivist activity during the period. According to Verizon, 58 percent of the 855 breaches studied in the report involved data stolen by hackers.

Although a large number of records were compromised in 2011, the year was only the second-highest since Verizon began collecting breach information in 2004.

Despite the volume of records stolen, the monetary damage resulting from the breaches appears to be minimal, according to the report.

Full story: PC World