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Archive for December, 2009

Spam trend

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 30, 2009

With almost more than half of the emails being reported as unsolicited. Spam tops the list as one of the most bothersome internet irritations. And despite the evolution of spam filters, spam blockers and other anti spam softwares, the negative effects are still felt by people and businesses. It is estimated to have sent 14.5 billion spam messages per day.  According to a research conducted by Palo Alto, spam costs business around $20.5 billion annually and future predictions seems to be around $198 billion in next four years if spam continues to flourish at its current rate.  Figure below shows the spam by  country of origin (source: M86 Security)

Spam Definition:

In order to effectively combat spam we first need to know what spam is. According to definition , Spam is an anonymous(spoofed sender address to hide the real sender), unsolicited (users unwillingness to accept) bulk email (Sent in mass measure). IT is important to make it clear that the words ‘advertising’ and ‘commercial’are not used as perfect spam definitions.

How spam works:

Spammers use advanced programs and technologies in a dedicated way to generate and send spam in billions and billions of spam message every day. Spam overall life cycle is a five stage process, knowing about those stage may help in preparing to not to be a victim in future.

Stage One: Gathering Information:

First stage in spam cycle is in collecting information and creating a database of email address with different categories (geographical location, different accounts, personal entries, others).  Methods used to collecting email address include scanning public resources like forums, websites, chat rooms, who-is databases. Stealing databases from web services and ISPs,.

Created databases address will then be verified by test mail. Testing is to make sure whether the users are reading the spam or not. Spam usually has images and if a message is opened then image will automatically be downloaded and logged in server and thus spammers will make sure that email address is valid.

Stage 2: Choosing the delivery method

Now its time to deliver the spam to mass users. They deliver in millions and more widely used are  following three methods. First is direct mailing from rented servers, this option proves no good to them as anti-spam organisations are monitoring mass mailing and black listing them. Second is to use proxies or open relays but this option is costly and also time-consuming as spammers need to search the internet for vulnerable servers and then the server has to be penetrated. Spammers can’t use the same proxy or relays for long as after a successful mailing, these servers will be detected and blacklisted.

Third and most current trend is to create or buy bot networks. A botnet is a collection of computers, also known as zombies or robots, that can all be controlled remotely by one person. This control is achieved by installing malicious software on a PC via illicit means, such as a virus or email attachment.

Step 3: Actual spam message

Sending millions of messages within a limited time frame requires right technology and spammers are using specialized programs to be able to send mail via infected machines, create dynamic texts, dynamic images and so on..

Basic and traditional way of sending spam is to include a random text string, words or invisible text with either beginning or end of the message body.  It is possible to embed an invisible test within an HTML message and send it to email address but current day spam filters are with inbuilt HTML encoders smart enough to flag those emails as spam.

Some other means are by graphical spam (text in graphics format), dynamic text (same text in many ways. a smart ways to confuse anti spam filter program).

Spam life cycle overall involves team of different specialists, professional programmers, virus writers and business mans. Each playing a part in spam cycle.

Ways to prevent spam:

There are certain measures along with using a spam filter or spam blocker that you can take to prevent this spam message to reach your inbox. Some of them are:

  1. Try having more than one email address. Use one for personal and confidential reasons and others for day-to-day use like subscription and other stuff which are not your primary concern.
  2. Try to hide your email address. Say if you have a website or forum and you need to use your email address, you can try using for example: brainfold dot security at Gmail DOTcom instead of brainfold.security@gmail.com
  3. Make sure your spam filter and your email services are on highest setting
  4. In public forums and chat messages or wherever you need to register, try having a username instead of email address. Use your secondary email address for this purposes.
  5. Never reply to or click on any links in a spam message. Before you get to click any link check details like sender name, domain address, message relevance. If any of these sound irrelevant to you try not to click the email link.
  6. Read your message as text, reading message as text other than HTML prevents you from accidentally clicking the email links which may include virus, ad-ware or spyware. (remember 80% of email flying are spam).
  7. If you are using Outlook you can preview your messages in a preview screen before actually opening them.
  8. View message header: Analyse the header information, pay attention to the FROM and REPLY TO addresses. If the reply to discuss is not same as from address then it may be a spam.
  9. Forwarded emails tend to list the email address of every one who has forwarded the message, along with the email address of every one its forwarded to. So it’s an easy target for spammers to get access to bulk of email address. Unless it is important to do so try not to use send email with bulk email address.

IF you would to know more about spam-ware and ad-ware please follow the below references

Conclusion:

Spam market is growing exponentially with growing value of several hundred million dollars annually. Entire spam cycles are run by professionals in-house taking advantage of our  ignorance in protecting our own information.

Though it is illegal to collect and misuse others personal information due to massive growth in technology it is not an easy task for government, law enforcement agencies or info sec professionals to protect every single data from prying eyes. So it is our responsibility to be conscious in protecting our personal informations. Money flowing in spam industry is good enough to keep the spam cycle  going and potentially enabling people to take more risk.

If you would like any more topics to be discusses feel free to send me a comment. Thanks again for your time..

Posted in Hacking, Information Security | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Google appearance trick

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 29, 2009

A  Google appearance trick to show how to change Title with your name

Sometimes you may need to impress your friends with your name appearing on the main screen. This can only be done temporarily as once you clicked the search button it will go back to default Google.

Previously it used to be http://www.pimpmysearcher.com, but due to trademark issues pimp my search is closed for ever.  But still if you want a custom home page you can make it via shinysearch.com

It comes with different styles all you need is to type in your name or word you wanted your search screen to appear as..

Now if you want to make it as your home page, you can still do it…

FireFox Users:

  1. Copy the below website address
    http://www.shinysearch.com/myhome.php?style=lion&ltext=
  2. Click the “Tools” menu in the top & then click on “Options…”
  3. Click on the “Main” image on the top left
  4. Delete the contents in the “Home page” field, then paste the copied website address
    Click Ok.

Safari Users:

  1. Copy the below website address
    http://www.shinysearch.com/myhome.php?style=lion&ltext=
  2. In the top menu, Click “Safari” & then find and choose “Preferences…”.
  3. When the preferences page loads, click on the “General” icon.
  4. Delete the contents in the “Home page” field, then paste the copied website address
    Close the preferences page

Chrome Users:

  1. Copy the below website address
    http://www.shinysearch.com/myhome.php?style=lion&ltext=Brainfold
  2. Click the Wrench looking icon in the top right corner & then Click “Options”
  3. In the Homepage Section on the middle, Select the “Open this page:” option and then paste the copied website address
    Click the Close button.

Internet Explorer Users

1.  Open up the Internet Explorer program.
2.  From the “Tools” menu at the top of the screen, choose “Internet Options…”.
3.  Find and choose the “General” tab.
4.  Delete the contents in the  “Address” field, then copy/paste
http://www.shinysearch.com/myhome.php?style=lion&ltext=Brainfold
Click the OK button.

Hope you enjoyed 4googles, different google and ways to have your name as search engine name.. Comment if you got any more ideas



Posted in Cool Techniques | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Different google searches

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 29, 2009

Kind of fun to know the other than normal google there are few other different types of google search pages exists but with different significance here is a consolidated list of each with their links

  • elgooG  [Special]  .elgoog sdrawkcaB     Visit Site (Google backwards, what ever you type in will come backwards)
  • Change the name , Change ME , Visit Site
  • Mystery Google, gets what the person before you had searched. Visit site
  • Scroogle, This site hides your cookies, so Google can’t tell who you are.  Google records sites IP address, search terms and date and time. But this site parse the file and sends the results to the searcher. They don’t use cookies and they don’t save search terms and logs are deleted within 48 hours.  Visit site
  • Googawo (special) site gives us comparison between anyone versus anyone in between Gogole/Yahoo/Lycos . Visit site
  • Epic Google Visit site
  • Weenie Google Visit Site
  • Blackle, dark Google but with shinning colors. Visit Site
  • Pink Google, Visit site
  • Blue Google, Visit Site
  • Yellow Google, Visit Site
  • Green Google, Visit Site
  • Ninja Google, Deadly Accurate.. Visit Site
  • Dinosaurs Google. Nice for paleontologists and time travelers Visit Site
  • Scene Google, Visit Site
  • Emo Google, Visit Site
  • Goth Google, Visit Site
  • G00G|3 H/-\XX0r , Visit Site
  • Iglatin-Pay /google, Visit Site
  • Klingon google, Visit site
  • Elmer Fudd, Visit Site
  • Bork Bork Bork Google, Visit Site

Posted in Cool Techniques | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

googlegooglegooglegoogle

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 29, 2009

During researching online, its common to have multiple searches running at different tabs/ windows at the same time. Navigating between tabs and windows can often be annoying  and chances we may lose track or miss   the flow in search. I came across this site which has the ability to run 4 Google searches in a single tab. It will be very useful for people with big screen and dual screen computers.

Site is named under http://www.googlegooglegooglegoogle.com. There is a green arrow, clicking it pop ups a windows asking for specific URL that you wanted to run on that specific window. A dedicated “W” icon for Wikipedia and a “X” close it  if you choose to use only 3 or 2 partitions.

Additionally it also has a menu option to open closed tab, set pages on start up, always Google 4, big list of other google, side by side search.

Hope you enjoyed 4googles..Comment if you got any more ideas



Posted in Cool Techniques | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Fake Antivirus Software list nov 2009

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 28, 2009

Now a days it has become more common for a computer users to receive  pop up from a legitimate website alerting them of a virus or trojans and offering anti-virus software to remove the virus, even though it is not. These pop us are actually created by skilled programmers turned hackers and cyber criminals for personal gain or just few extra bugs.These programs neither scan nor clean computers, and they are actually designed to persuade users that their computers are at risk and scare them into buying the “antivirus” product. They will insist us to install the solution they offer either for free or fewer bugs.

These type of fake antivirus program are widespread and are mostly used by internet criminals. According to Kaspersky labs they have identified more than 20,000 samples in the first half of 2009.  Anti-virus company “Symantec” have claimed to found 250 varieties of scam security software with legitimate sounding names like Anti virus 2010 and SpywareGuard 2008, and about 43 million attempted downloads in one year but did not know how many of the attempted downloads succeeded”  [Source: Symantec]

If we think how do these rouge programs end up on victim machines. Tailored Trojan horse can be used to download such rouge programs, or when a user visit a exploited website can perform a drive by download.  More often either by mistake or by enticement from cyber criminals this programs get into users computer. Criminals raising this software manages to hide the IP address of the page from which malware downloads and installs.

Kaspersky Lab has recently identified a technique used for the dynamic download of rogue antivirus programs. Here’s an example: a script on ********.net/online-j49/yornt.html generated a redirect address, http://******.mainsfile.com.com/index.html?Ref=’+encodeURIComponent (document.referrer). The address generated depended on how the user arrived at the page containing the script (done with the help of document.referrer), or, in other words, which site the user had previously viewed. In this case the redirect led to http://easyincomeprotection.cn/installer_90001.exe, a page hosting a new rogue antivirus program, FraudTool.Win32.AntivirusPlus.kv.

Once after downloading the program below are some symptoms and actions made to threaten the users

  • IF your computer is infected you will probably receive high number of fake warning alerts with increased pop-ups and hijack of your homepage. You can see your computer being usually slow compensating the performance.
  • Sometimes, to make it more convincing, a fake infected file will be installed on the computer together with the rouge antivirus and later the same fake infected file will be detected during the scanning.
  • Then the software will provide us with a recommendation to clean the virus (though you may not have one) in your computer for some money in return to their solution.
  • If user by any chance click the “remove virus” button then a new window will open asking them to purchase their fake product. If you made a choice to buy that software, different payment method like paypal, Amex, Visa  and bank accounts will be shown as if they were legitimate.

Some basic steps that users can take to prevent from more problem are

  • Rouge antivirus infection will not damage users machine, they are used by cyber criminals to make money from inexperienced users.
  • To not to get trapped, Google the antivirus name that comes up and check whether the name has an official site, technical support or phone support.
  • Beware that legitimate anti-virus companies (both commercial and open source) will not scan your computer for money. Never click the button “install”if you don’t know what the pop up says.

If you choose to get rid of the problem by yourself here are some basic steps  to identify the anti-virus and delete them. Uninstall the suspected anti-virus program using Add/Remove utility in the control panel. After removing the utility, restart your computer in safer mode. Then launch Microsoft security essential or firewall vendor of your choice to run a scan against system files and folders to remove the suspected applications. At situations you may need to remove it manually. Make sure to back up your important files. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to bring up the task manager. Click on the fake anti-virus image name and choose to stop it from running. Go to Start, Run. Type regedit to start the Registry Editor, where you will drop the entries for WinAntiVirus. Browse to the Hkey_Local_Machine\Software folder from the My Computer folder and delete the series of Registry entries that are described under the fake anti-virus thread. Google and try to get as many as information about that virus and try to manually delete it from your windows folder, but make sure to stop the file processes in the task manager before you actually delete them.

PC Manufactures solution:

To protect your computer, try installing and running an up-to-date anti-virus product such as Microsoft Security Essentials, from microsoft ( look at my earlier article on Microsoft free Anti virus software), MSE provides real time protection against virus, trojan, spyware and adwares. Another option is to run a virus scan with the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner.  Microsoft’s Windows  defender can also be used to remove spyware and other potentially unwanted software from your computer.

Latest list of Rouge Antivirus softwares from Microsoft

Microsoft have released a list of significant threat that AV rogues had posed for our users this year.  Besides the prevalent rogues covered by the MSRT, the following is a longer list of AV rogues detected by Microsoft AV products such as Microsoft Security Essentials, Forefront Client Security, etc.

FakeXPA Winfixer FakeSmoke SpywareSecure
FakePowav FakeScanti Spyguarder IEDefender
MalwareBurn Cleanator AntivirusGold MalWarrior
UnSpyPc MalwareCrush SystemGuard2009 Malwareprotector
DriveCleaner PrivacyChampion WorldAntiSpy SpywareSoftStop
DocrorTrojan SystemLiveProtect Yektel AntiSpyZone




Antivirus2008 Winwebsec FakeSecSen FakeRean
PrivacyCenter FakeRemoc VirusRemover Antivirus2009
SpyLocked SpywareStormer Privacywarrior AntiSpywareDeluxe
Trojanguarder SecurityiGuard PrivacyProtector Searchanddestroy
MyBetterPC DoctorCleaner SpyBlast AlfaCleaner
NeoSpace UniGray FakeFreeAV WebSpyShield




InternetAntivirus WinSpywareProtect FakeSpypro AntiSpywareExpert
Antivirusxp Fakerednefed FakeCog VirusRanger
ErrorGuard Antispyware2008 AntiVirGear SpyDawn
SpyCrush EZCatch VaccineProgram UltimateFixer
Fakeav EvidenceEraser TrustCleaner WinHound
Spyaway Vaccine2008 SearchSpy Spyshield




SpySheriff FakeVimes FakeIA AdvancedCleaner
Antispycheck PCSave AntispyStorm FakePccleaner
SpywareIsolator PSGuard Antivirustrojan SpywareQuake
SpyFalcon SpywareStrike XDef WareOut
PrivacyRedeemer Nothingvirus AntiSpywareSoldier Kazaap
VirusConst AVClean AdsAlert SystemDefender




FakeSpyguard Fakeinit SpyAxe
SpyHeal AntiVirusPro Awola
VirusBurst CodeClean MyNetProtector
VirusRescue Spybouncer FakeWSC
TitanShield MalwareWar DoctorAntivirus
Easyspywarecleaner VirusHeat UltimateDefender

Source: Microsoft fake security Anti virus run up


This list from Microsoft has  new and recent rogues such as FakeXPA, FakeSecSen and FakeRean. It also contains some older rouges that are dated since 4 years such as Winfixer and SpySheriff.

Conclusion:

Unfortunately this programs are getting more common. Microsoft encourages PC users run a complete up to date Antivirus products such as Microsoft Security Essentials to protect their computers from these rogues.  Don’t believe any pop-ups other than Google search on your own. Awareness of the threat is very important. Have a look at some of these threats, get familiar with some of the names, screen shots and pass on the word to your friends and families.

Posted in Information Security, Virus | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Instapper, a very usefull iphone application!!

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 28, 2009

Do you ever had a situation when are you well into a  blog or lengthy article but find no time to read when you first found them? Instapper is a cool Application that serves the purpose. Simply download the application to your iphone, add a bookmark to your browser’s toolbar on your PC, mac or Linux  and when you see an article that you would want to read later , select the bookmark and Instapper will save the web page. Do not forget to sync your application while you have internet access.

You will find this application very useful when on a plane, driving through an area with limited or no data connection or on the subway you still be able to read the article.

Just log on to instapper and create a account to get it running. You can also customize your setting with amazon kindle gadget and enjoy reading.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Iphone | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Microsoft's free antivirus application

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 28, 2009

when it comes to PC Security with all the over blowing virus stories it is hard to feel safe online. Security is still not a significant concern for majority of online users. An average/normal user will find no time to worry about the firewall checklist , outbound rules, security updates at every time he get to use his computer. And more over humans are more prone to mistakes by clicking the bad links, downloading an unknown files and executing it without scanning it, getting malware from other computer with pen drive, and example can be many to say.

So it’s no harm to learn about various options that we have in-order to choose a best antivirus software for our need also having an extra layer of protection isn’t completely pointless. Along with PC tools firewall +, Online armor, PC spyware doctor, Comodo Internet security there is another antivirus application from Microsoft and its completely free!! Yeah its a good news for Microsoft lovers. Microsoft has released their Security Essentials pack that has advantages in the landscape of antivirus software. It provides free protection against viruses, spyware and other malware without compensating the system performance like many other firewall applications does. When it comes to speed and routines, installing or running Microsoft’s security essential shows very small disruptions. Even when i tried to download some virus, it immediately identified and blocked them from causing harm.  So its worth trying,  give it a go and feel free to pass your comments if you need more info on how to install them or bugs to report

Microsoft security Essential pack review video

Given said few positives about Microsoft security essentials, its time to decide whether uninstall our other antivirus program that we are currently running or not.  Because it will ask you at the time of installation. But its a quiet simple installation process . Have a look at this video and have your say.

Posted in Firewall, Information Security, Security tools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Browser Security 2

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 27, 2009

In my last review i have posted some basics in choosing the right web browser for use. But web security threats are more than just choosing the right browser, so in here we will see the next step in safe browsing. Current day threats are very dangerous, simple mistakes like as one visit to malware site or clicking a loaded shareware to install can affect your computer performance and usage.  Some of the consequences are like annoying pop-up screens with advertisements, your browsers home page will be changed, default search engine will be altered. Some time the intruders who hacked your computer will blackmail you for money or personal gain  or even worse of stealing your money from bank account could happen. Having  an antivirus installed is not enough with the amount of virus and spyware it is very hard for firewall vendors to keep in time. Ofcorse, there are few free firewall vendors like PC tool, Avast, Avira, Comodo internet security, Online Armour to provide free version of their internet security tools suites,  anti-spyware tool and firewalls  to ed. But it is necessary  to learn different approach to overcome these threats.

Sanboxing:

In computer security world, sandboing is a mechanism used to separate running programs. Using it for tasks like executing untested code, running untrusted programs from unverified third parties and untrusted users. Given that open source and distributed computing getting more popular, sandbox concept will be very useful mode of protection from unwanted hacking. Sand box typically provides tight control over the untrusted program even if anything goes wrong the impact will not affecting your computer or its resources.

To get a sand boxed environment we can use a free program called Sandboxie which is available for windows OS later than Win 2000. Downloading this piece of software creates a sandbox like environment on your PC. Startup is just like normal other browser other than the inconvenient nag screen that pops until the application opens.  Browsing inside Sandboxie gives you greatest protection by isolating the browser from portions like your OS, hard drive, memory locations, altering registries, OS sessions. So what ever browsing or downloading you do will be within the box and will not affect your PC. Upon downloading and saving a file, Sandboxing comes with an option asking whether to save it permanently or not. Better option will be to add your default downloads folder to the Quick recovery settings so all files saved there will automatically saved in your hard drive which avoids you manually copying the files into real hard drive.

Say for instance if you have downloaded a virus or Trojan by mistake, you close the browser and right-click to delete all its files and processes by doing so will get your PC back to normal state as it was before starting the session. Latest version comes with advanced option like in-depth defense, blocking access to your personal files, allowing us to choose what program to run and not. Some other advanced features also helps us protecting from Key-loggers. Overall it protects us from viruses, Trojan software, ad-ware, spyware and other malware that could infect your PC from web (internet).

Online Armour:

To Make browsing more safer there is another option available from a company called Online Armor and they give us free firewall protection as well us an option called “Run Safer“.  Run Saver works with privileges. All files, process and programs running in OS will have at-least two level of permission one with read only access and second as full access ( read, write, change). Users with admin login credentials will typically bound to have full access and users with normal login credentials will  have low-level access so that they cannot make any harm. Typical home users will use his admin log on for all day-to-day tasks he do in his/her machine as it convenient. But it is not safer to do so- if a dangerous program happen to get into your computer it will be also convenient for the virus/trojan/malware to crash or take control of your computer.

Online Armor’s run safer option helps protect against this by automatically “stepping down the rights” that your web browser or any other program you run has to a limited user. You may claim any one can do this but the tool does it with transparency. This way you can make your web browsing  more safer.

PC Tool Firewall +

PC tool Firewall plus a very useful personal firewall that provides Host based intrusion Prevention system (HIPS) through enhanced security mechanism. It relies on list of programs and attempts check for valid digital signatures and alerts the users if it identifies any possible malicious behavior. It gives us protection as its commercial equivalent does in regards with performance. Simple installation and very user friendly in its default settings and produce fewer popups for common tasks. Some key highlights are

  • Hides your PC from Internet hackers.
  • Fine-grained control over inbound and outbound traffic.
  • Easy to use. Designed for both novice and expert users.
  • No interruptions when playing full-screen games.
  • Optional password protection for rules and settings.
  • Best of all it’s FREE. No catches, limitations or time-limits.

Additional features include “full screen mode, mode to suppress all alerts, password protection, automatic updates. For detailed list of its more features click here . So over all its a free good firewall option for home users. Paid version gives enhanced features for 49 dollars which is relatively cheaper than its costly counterparts.

PC Tool’s Spyware Doctor:

PC tool’s Spyware doctor with antivirus which is again an awesome tool to keep you away from infections. This is more corrective measure while earlier discussed options were more preventive methods. I own McAfee paid version installed in my computer but when my computer slows with adware and spyware infections its spyware doctor who rescued my brainfold (my PC). It’s full scan almost detects and destroys all unwanted virus, Trojans, ad-wares and spyware in its best and quick possible way.  I will strongly recommend you to try installing the spyware doctor from PC tool, compare the scan with your paid protection and find the difference yourself.

Conclusion: In this post i discussed some intermediate level techniques in keeping home computer safer from exploits (attacks). Our first option is to have a sand box software installed and if you are not sure about what you are downloading try downloading it with sand box browser. Second option is also preventive option by turning safer run option ON (Online Armour) which avoid any harm to our computer by maintaining least privilege. PC tools firewall and spyware doctor are preventive and corrective measures respectively to combat from virus, Trojans, Ad-ware and Spyware infections. I hope this post is informative for home users .  Thank you again for your time if you need any further clarification or assistance in selecting any above mentioned methods please comment i will get back to you.

Posted in Browser Security, Hacking, Information Security, Open Source, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Avatar search, beware of spam

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 27, 2009

When  i Google to know more about avatar i came across this spam which after a single click delivered some adware and spyware into my computer. When i tried running windows defender it came up with zero infection. Thankfully i had installed free version of PC tools Spyware doctor while ran a scan it discovered 39 fixes that needed my attention just by clicking the site once. Further information about the spam is as follows
If you google with avatar review as search term you will find it in top 5 results and it comes under name Jamaica observer with 2510 related.
I am not dared to try clicking again in my primary machine, but certainly will try it with sandbox and discover further. At this stage I am not certain about typing this site as spam or not, but just a caution to make viewers aware before it causes any harm.
For general audience, in future to avoid such spams from website i would recommend trying McAfee’s free site advisor and openning any new page with their advice or try no-script if you using Firefox. Microsoft site advisors image:

Posted in Security tools, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Avatar- Movie beyond imagination

Posted by brainfoldb4u on December 27, 2009

Boxing day, to stay away from routine we decided to watch a movie. I initially thought of Robin Hood . I am highly hyped of the fact that its directed by Riley Scott and yeah the same combination that rocked box office for several months and even years (Gladiator).  Synopsis of the film is as follows

Robin Hood Synopsis

“The untitled Robin Hood adventure chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard’s army against the French. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marian (Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marian and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.”

But once after looking for session timing i realized the release schedule is May 2010. Disappointing but don’t want really wanted to step away from watching a movie.  So we decided to watch Avatar 3D in Greater union.

James Cameron’s Avatar is the most entertaining movie of the year with enthralling cinematic experience. Seems he took almost a decade to  release such an incredible movie. Mr Cameron’s attention to detail and the way he presented every single characters, place, and the movie itself is mind blogging.  In my view i put this movie as “Movie beyond imagination”.

Simply put,  Avatar is the story of Jake Sully, a  marine, who replaces his brother on a secret mission to tackle the  colony of beings that sit on the planet of Pandora, Pandora has some precious ore, that sells at a ridiculous amount. When Jake learns the ways of the Na’ vi, his feelings and learnings will put him and the people he trusts in dangerous jeopardy. Avatar is not generated from any myth or novel. But i find it speaks truth about the connections that we living being have all together.

Along with the best effects minds in the business.  Joe Letteri is technical team lead for visual effects says “For the first several months, we all fell flat on our faces,” recalls Neville Page, the film’s lead creature designer. “Then one day, Jim said, ‘Alright, I’m going to draw a picture for you guys and then you can finish it,’ and that became the blueprint for (lead female alien) Neytiri and so for the rest of the Na’vi.”

The story takes place three decades after MNC’s established a mining colony on Pandora ( an environment with hostile natives also called as blue monkeys) . Multinational mining companies wanted to get rid of those native people with the help of human proxies and use the precious ore the Pandora own.  A group of biologists are working as military proxies to certain a negotiation term with Pandora.

Jake Sully is a disabled former Marine who takes his late twin brother’s place in the avatar program, a sort of bone thrown to the scientific community by the corporation in hopes that the study of Pandora and its population might create a more peaceful planet. Jake with the help of science somehow manages to get into Pandora and made them believe he is one among them.

The forest so imagined Pandora is well modeled with flying dragons, magic trees, feral dogs, rain forest with the concept of highly advanced spiritualism. After 6 months military with sully’s interpretations military were able to design Na’vi defense capabilities to attack Na’vi’s and capture the land by destroying the trees which Na’vi values as their spiritual god.

Military commanders and mining commercials came to a point realizing that sally fell in love with Neytiri and would not be significant in getting their task done in time. So military started to attack Na’vi and with the help of sully and his biologist team natives were able to fight with military and stay in their own land.

Distributors 20th Century Fox say it has earned more than $350m (£217m) in the US and more than $670m (415m) in the rest of the world in only 17 days. Ahead of it are Titanic ($1.8bn; £1.1bn), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.12bn; £695m) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($1.07bn; £664m)

It is a must watch life time movie and i would recommend viewers to watch it in 3D if possible to enjoy the fullest animation experience.

Lead Scriptures of this movie  are:

Director/Screen writter:  James Cameron

Producer: James Cameron, Jon Landau

Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, David Moore, Laz Alonso

Production companies: 20th century Fox with Dune entertainment and ingenious film partners

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