Monday, July 03, 2006

Identity Theft of "Peter Rost" Image and Name

When I did my recent blog post Take My Poll: You're In Control! and suggested that maybe I should start the Rost Post, competing with the Huffington Post, I didn't realize that so many would support the concept of a competitor to HuffPuff.

But someone clearly didn’t like the idea of me starting the Rost Post. That person seems to have returned every day and voted one more time for “Just go away!” Until he had amassed three votes.

And I didn’t think much of this, until I discovered that someone who had too little to do on Sunday afternoon had started a blog called the “Rost Post.” You can find it here.

And just in case this person has deleted the blog, here’s a photo.

You see the person who did this didn’t just take the name the Rost Post. He also used my name as the author of the blog and used my photo.

That is called identity theft or computer impersonation. Anyone convicted of identify theft may serve up to fifteen years in jail. Here's more reading. And many states, among them New Jersey, are now making computer impersonation an illegal act.

First I thought that this might be anyone, just doing a spoof on this blog, and figured that copying and is simply another form of flattery. But then I realized that this type of harassment can severely affect a person's computer identity and personal reputation.

So I set out to learn who the person was who had stolen my name and photo and registered the Rost Post.

For those of you who have read about the Huffington Post Troll Scandal in my earlier posts, the result may not be entirely surprising.

In the lower right corner of the new Rost Post I found this symbol.

It is a stat counter which measures how many visitors come to the blog and also captures the IP addresses.

And when I hovered my cursor above it I could learn the properties of this site meter.

This is what it said:


Of course I couldn’t know for sure if this was the technology manager Andy Yaco-Mink from the Huffington Post. It could be an imposter who tried to frame Andy and wanted me to see the site meter.

But it was almost a fluke that I discovered this link, if my cursor hadn’t passed over the symbol I would have missed it. And this site meter costs money. That indicated the account was indeed held under "yacomink."

Then something happened. The Rost Post posting which had been made on Sunday was deleted and a new one, exactly the same, appeared Monday morning. The only thing missing from the new one was the visible site meter and connection to “yacomink.” That if anything, proved that "yacomink" didn't want me to find the name "yacomink" in any link on this blog . . .

Fortunately, I had already saved the web page with the link information from which I can get complete properties of the icon which has since been deleted. Here it is:

The question is what to do now. I could notify the Huffington Post that it appears as of “yacomink” continues to harass me and has stolen my name and picture. Or that an impostor uses his name to harass me.

I could also call local law enforcement and report this.

I could notify the Federal Trade Commission here.

Or I could notify Google that someone, by stealing my photo and name, has violated the Terms of Service for I would notify them here.

Or I could simply do a blog posting about this crazy person who keeps harassing me and isn’t satisfied with me having been fired from HuffPo.

I guess I'll start off with a blog about this incident.

After all, either has yacomink's name been stolen and cleverly used in the site meter to implicate him in the identity theft of my name or HuffPuff has an employee who is running amok.

You can read more about what the Department of Justice has written about identity theft here.


insider said...


This is both risible and outrageous at the same time.

The definition of a "yacomink" is rapidly becoming "loose cannon".

And loose cannons had to be pushed of the ship before they caused too much damage!


shooter said...


A. Please tell us that this is not another "tongue in cheek" spoof.
B. Many of us have dedicated a lot of time in the recent days to urge you on, and to offer our assistance. Please give us a more thorough sense of where you are right now, and where you are going.

Peter Rost said...

I am simply presenting facts, exactly as I did last time when I "outed" the HuffPuff tech manager.

The name yacomink was in the site meter.

I put in a picture of this, although resolution may not be great.

To me this is very disturbing. There is no tongue-in-cheek with having your name and picture stolen and to be impersonated.

Finally, we DON't know for sure who did this, even though evidence points in a certain direction.

But law enforcement could easily get the yacomink sitemeter account and who paid for it. I also note that the site meter is gone, perhaps not something an impostor would have done.

Anonymous said...


Methinks Yacomink is working for the Bush Administration...

Anonymous said...

The entire phony site is gone now.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, yaco-guy just won't go away. Most ammusing :)
I realise there is a serious side to all this, not least of which Arianna apparently seems to think it ok for staff to get involved posting anonymous comments on her site, a really dire error in judgement.

Anonymous said...

Great work Doc! But maybe it's a trap. He wanted you to find him or he's just really stupid, and although I want to go with the latter, it's just highly impossible that he's this dumb. This guy has an agenda. Who is he really working for? What do they really want or what are they afraid of? You may have just scratched the surface on this Yaco, maybe he's supposed to be a distraction to something else you might uncover? You already exposed a supposed left wing site for being just as hypocritical as the right. This is huge for those in power because the public trust is what they rely on to keep their pockets fat. What’s worse is that we maintain the division by constantly pointing the finger at each other instead of the real instigators (corporations, banks) not even Bush is as evil as these guys. Making up other distractions so we will ignore how they rob us of our freedoms.

Peter Rost said...

The phony site is gone. We don't know if the person behind the site deleted it, or if Google took it down, or if Huffington Post intervened.

I do have both versions of the site saved, however, since I realize this is pretty serious stuff and I don't present facts like these lightly.

I am also concerned that whomever is behind this may be just as crazy as the main figure in the "Fatal Attraction" picture, which I put in my blog post that started all of this.

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc, I think you should talk to attorneys and Arianna and find out what the deal is. She could be liable for the continued harrassment if this is Yacomink again. If I were you, and what I just wrote is true, I would make a deal with Arianna that if she fires the tool AND apologizes to you that you won't litigate her. I am not a lawyer, but it appears to me that if an owner doesn't protect their employees from other employees, that they could be liable for damages.

You also come across as a truthseeker. You wouldn't need too many good bloggers to have an awesome website. Just look at HuffPo. What is that place but a newswire with seemingly masses of fake posts. I know, because I used to post there all the time and even had automatic posting privileges, until I was too honest with my feelings about the George Clooney thing.

It's quite ironic that Greg Gutfeld is the only blogger there where people can air out this stuff. Perhaps Greg has been banned also?

I too keep going back there to take a peek, hoping it has changed for the good. I think it is disgusting that they have their fake forum rules they never enforce, and that non-violent, sincere posters are banned from blogposts unless they parrot Arianna and clip her toenails.

Anonymous said...

Ah-hahaha! Dr. Rost, you're a great investigator! I wish I had your skills when someone was trolling me years back. Yaco Mink is really, really, really, REALLY dumb. I've stopped going to The Huffington Post after this incident, and I won't be back there.

Anyway, kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

The fake site probably is still in Google cache if you can get google to access it for you.

Likely Google deleted it directly because I had tried to get rid of a blog on Google Blogger for over a year that I had transferred directly to another website and despite numerous attempts and numerous letters the darn thing is still there today. Something central has to happen on the Blogger server for the site to vanish as quickly as it did.

Anonymous said...

Uh, Dr. Rost,

I think you have one small factual error on your blog site. I've used SiteMeter[] when I maintained blogs. You don't have actually pay money to use SiteMeter. There are free accounts available. If there's a small picture icon on a blog site, it's usually associated with Sitemeter's free account. An icon-less Sitemeter is associated with their paid accounts.

Other than minor error, I concur that it was probably was Yaco Mink (my nickname for him is Yaco Fink), Jonah Perretti, and crew who set up that mock blog site trolling you, yet again. You'd think they'd be more afraid for their jobs, especially since it didn't take long for them to remove their blog after you outed them. They probably
believed that they harm you by cloaking themselves in cyberspace. Well, you've yanked that illusion away from them.

Those childish men really underestimated you, Dr. Rost. As smart as they believe themeselves to be, you're much smarter. But they not only underestimated you, but all of us -- HuffPo's former readers.

Too many former commentators --like myself -- have endured their arbitrary censorship of our posts -- most of which have not violated their terms of services or conditions. Yet, we are still permanently banned from making comments. And they're already trying to malign their former readers by patronizingly calling us "truthseekers." In spite of what HuffPo's interent crumundgeons may believe, you were just a rallying point, Dr. Rost. You exposed the behind-the-scenes censorship most of us already suspected was in place. But, now, instead of cloaking themselves in "invisibility" and wielding their censorship power, each censor has a name and a face.

Funnily, enough, Yacomink violated Huffpo's own terms and conditions clause. They claimed they would permanently ban any user that personally attacked a HuffPo blogger. Yet, obviously that's dishonest, for it's a staff member that attacks a blogger, like yourself, they hastily turn the other way. And, they fired you.

Perretti/Yaco Mink only posted that mock-blog because their reputations have been tarnished. They've been outed as the cowards they actually are. They felt they were big men with big power and "huge" knowledge of computer in cyberspace. Big whoop. I, for one, am glad that they've finally been exposed as hypocritical, underhanded, arrogant charlatans they actually are.

Anonymous said...

It's not the parody website of your insufferable, boorish and insane reaction to being tossed of Huffpo that damages your "reputation." It's the insufferable, boorish and insane reaction that damages what's left of your reputation.

Do you actually suppose that any institution, upon reading your huffpo saga, would ever want to be involved with you? You're draped in red flags. No business person with any common sense would read all this and say, "you know what? I want to be involved with this guy."

This is what has damaged your reputation. Not a parody website.