The guide isn't available for free, in fact, it was being sold for Bitcoins on a deep web marketplace.Bitcoin is cryptographic currency favoured by criminals as it allows semi-anonymous online transactions.
However, all the data found in the dataset are or were already publicly available, so releasing this dataset merely presents it in a more useful form.
One of the more popular news stories being shared around the web this week has been the story of how Chris Mc Kinlay, a mathematics Ph D candidate “hacked” OKCupid in order to find love.
Naturally, this inspired both wonder – OMG, nerds can break the code and get laid!
The “already public” excuse was used in 2008, when Harvard researchers released the first wave of their “Tastes, Ties and Time” dataset comprising four years’ worth of complete Facebook profile data harvested from the accounts of cohort of 1,700 college students.
And it appeared again in 2010, when Pete Warden, a former Apple engineer, exploited a flaw in Facebook’s architecture to amass a database of names, fan pages, and lists of friends for 215 million public Facebook accounts, and announced plans to make his database of over 100 GB of user data publicly available for further academic research.