Andy Ihnatko Is Fake Steve? The Evidence is Very Flimsy

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Photo by Seth Dillingham

The Sitening blog claims to have unearthed the identity of Fake Steve Jobs — it’s veteran Mac columnist Andy Ihnatko — but the evidence is flimsy at best.

The “proof” is that FSJ’s computer has an IP address in Boston — and Ihnatko lives in Beantown. Ergo sum.

The Sitening blog obtained FSJ’s IP address by sending him a special URL in email. When FSJ visited the special URL, it revealed his IP address: 68.160.21.224, which comes from the Boston area.

But I’m skeptical. Andy’s a humorous writer, but the styles are different. And FSJ is obviously a reporter or editor with a Silicon Valley business publication — Forbes or Fortune, or such like — not a specialist Mac writer. The subject matter on FSJ’s blog ranges too far from Apple — he’s obsessed with Sun and Google as he is with Steve Jobs.

When Wired News first contacted FSJ earlier this year to set up a sponsorship deal, my colleague Kevin Poulsen, the ace hacker, used the headers of FSJ’s emails to track him to a hotel in New York, then a public park or cafe in New York (he was probably using free WiFi), and finally suburban Boston.

We assumed Fake Steve was traveling that day. Maybe he took a business trip to New York to his home in Boston. But who knows? Maybe he works in Boston, or that’s where his girlfriend lives?

The only one who knows FSJ’s identity for sure is my boss, Wired News EIC Evan Hansen, who’s keeping mum.

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  • Tyler

    We don’t claim to know that FSJ is Andy. We just posted his IP address and said he was from the Boston area :-) It was Diego Barros who guessed Andy’s name.

  • CB

    It *is* strange, however, that there have been no entries in FSJ’s blog since Sitening’s claim was made public.

    Just saying …

  • Tyler

    He just now posted again. This time lashing out against people for invading his privacy. He doesn’t go into specifics, but it sounds like people have been taking this a lot further than we did by posting his IP. It’s one thing to try and guess his identity based on the evidence he makes available himself. It’s another thing to actively try and hack him (which is what his latest post implies). Not cool.

  • Cyrus Farivar

    What difference does it make who FSJ is? Seriously.

  • Joseph

    When you write a popular blog under the name “Fake Steve Jobs”, you’re inviting people to dig around to try to figure out your identity. IP tracking seems like fair game.

  • Disappointed in DFW

    You know, part of what makes the blog fun is the anonymity, FSJ is the first feed in my RSS Reader, and while I understand the alure of all this digging around trying to find out what’s what, it honestly kinda reaks of the kid in 2nd grade who told everyone that there’s no Santa Claus.

    Lets just drop it.

    L

  • David

    He looks more like “Fake John Belushi” :-)

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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