May 24th 2020
Today’s talk is by Dr Nnamdi Elenwoke RC Barcelona Pedrables – COIVD 19 1st Wave: As it happened in Teknon Medical Center Barcelona
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
May 29th XLVI Premio Leonardo da Vinci in Vienna (by video conference).
May 31st John Shackleton - Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions inclusive of Endurance”.
Jun 7th Public Holiday.
June 14th Senator Alice Mary Higgins will speak on the topic of "Climate and Peace".
June 21st Claire Casey of the Childhood Development Initiative will speak on the topic of
"Restorative Practices in Schools".
Jun 28th Club Assembly.
Jul 5th Presidential Handover
Jul 12th Patrick Hamilton Walsh, former member, speaking from Stockholm.
Jul 19th David Ellis – How Rotary is perceived by the public.
Jul 26th Gavin Walker, Rotary Club Bangor “Lend with Care, microfinance”
Aug 9th Eamonn Allen
President Alan was in the Chair at our Zoom meeting last Monday. There were 19 members present.
Visitors and Apologies
Last week we had apologies from Rana Al Damin, Derek Griffth, Mary O’Rafferty and Bernadette Mulvey. President Alan welcomed visitors Ola Garawany, Poonam Sood, Marie Mueller and Nazid Barakzai
Rotary Rangers Schedule
Rotary Rangers have recommenced weekly walks under the resourceful guidance of PP Brian George.
Thought for the Day – President Alan
• President Alan noted the lesson we all had to learn over the past year: how to change. He encouraged us to think not in terms of a “New Normal” but rather in terms of how we forge ahead, using both our newly acquired skills from this year as well as developing new ones to help us adapt the Rotary experience to suit an ever changing world. Of course we are looking forward to seeing each other again at the resumption of in person meetings, but we should build on what we have learnt and not be afraid to venture further into the new potential made possible by technology.
Hon Secretary’s Announcements
• Hon Sec Tony informed the meeting that Hong Anh, the post grad student co-hosted by our Club has finished her studies in UCD for the moment and is now in Sweden for this semester. She will do an internship with an NGO possibly in Tanzania or Costa Rica before returning to Dublin to complete her studies and submit her thesis. She looks forward to meeting Club Members on her return visit if Covid restrictions allow. Otherwise she will join our meeting on ZOOM to let us know about her experiences during her Rotary Scholarship.
Members wishing to speak
• IPP Mariandy introduced two new Friends of Rotary. She congratulated Ola Garawany and Poonam Sood for joining Friends of the Rotary Club, Dublin. Ola and Poonam introduced themselves and were welcomed by President Alan.
• PE Alexander updated the Club about District Assembly and encouraged us to join some of the break out sessions or follow the link to the various materials.
• PP Tom noted that the Zoom format may well have provided President Alan with a Club record attendance for last week’s AGM.
• Eamonn Allen announced further details on the upcoming Foundation quiz. This will be held on 16th June, so please keep this date free. Further details on joining instructions will be provided soon.
Presentation on Foundation
President Alan handed over to Foundation Chair Delma Sweeney who provided us an interesting overview on the Rotary Foundation. Sometimes we forget the about the enormous network and infrastructure that we have at our disposal. The Rotary Foundation is an extra ordinary way to create a multiplying effect on our individual and club contributions. Delma began by reminding us of the extraordinary statistic that contributions to Rotary foundation are 95% direct to purposes and only 5% is used for administration. This is a stark contrast to the typical administration costs of charities and shows an incredibly efficient use of resources. It is worth noting that the Rotary foundation is rated 4 out of four stars by the Charity Navigator.
The RF mission: to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through: improvement of health, the support of education, the alleviation of poverty. Our foundation contribution develops projects in:
• water hygiene and sanitation
• basic education and literacy
• disease prevention and treatment
• maternal and child health
• peace building and conflict prevention
• community economic development
• the environment
Rotary's partnership with the Bill Gates foundation and The Who have reduced polio cases by 99%. Our club raises $100 per member for Foundation and $50 for PolioPlus.
Roger Owens, incoming Foundation Chair, give us an overview of the financials sitting behind Rotary foundation. He noted the various donation channels namely the annual fund the permanent fund and polioplus. He also explained the share system. This invests Foundation funds for three years and then returns funds to their original District as well as a World Fund, - in both cases Clubs can apply for grants from these funds to support various projects. A very useful diagram on how this works, as well as some more detailed information on the numbers can be found in the slides in the membership section of our website – please see note below.
Then gave us a presentation on the Eric survey which is a system by which unposed must measure how quickly they are able to deliver Mail. Participants in this survey or paid to receive and return Mail and there were examples of other Rotary clubs who use the income from this initiative to fund their foundation commitments. Members wishing to participate in this should contact PP Bernadette Mulvey directly.
Material from this presentation can be accessed directly in the members section of our website: (if you are typing this rather type and then click on Members, then log in and then click on “view membership material”) Members are encouraged to have a look at the various materials, as structuring our future projects with this in mind can help us ensure that we are making full use of the support aid that Rotary Foundation offers through its efficient programs. us multiply our to District wherecan overlook the many benefits that the Foundation provides us. (if you have not yet set up your online account in the members section please contact Dermot by email to )
Protecting yourself against cyber attacks: Frank Bannister
In the light of current events in the HSE, we thought that it would be useful provide members with some guidelines on dos and don’ts when it comes to protecting their computer(s). Frank Bannister has kindly put together a short note on this topic. Most of you will probably not need to be told these things, but some members may find some of he points below helpful. This list is not comprehensive, but it contains the most critical things to be aware of in order to protect yourself from a cyber-attack and recover from one if you are ever attacked.
Types of Attack
While it is unlikely that you personally will be subjected to a ransomware attack of the type currently being experienced by the HSE, other forms of attack are by no means impossible. The attack on the HSE may have been a so-called “Day Zero” attack. Translated, this means that this is the first time a specific weakness in a computer system’s operating and/or network software has been used for a cyberattack. Such heretofore unknown weaknesses are relatively rare and hard to find. By definition, as soon as they are used once, they are no longer zero day attacks, but that does not mean that they cannot be used to attack other machines – including yours – that are still vulnerable.
For this reason, in the worlds of crime, espionage and cyber warfare world, zero day attacks are valuable. There is no cyber defence in place against them. However, once they have been used once, software suppliers can act to block them in future, but requires you, the user, to play your part. In the meantime, the best defence is good user habits.
Some Dos and Don’ts
All attacks take advantage of un-fixed weakness in a computer’s system software (usually the operating system). You can reduce this risk considerably by taking a number of relatively straightforward steps:
1. The single most important thing to do is to ensure that your operating system(s), (for most of us this means Windows or Apple’s IOS) is/are fully up to date. Always upload patches and upgrades as soon as you are notified of them.
2. If you are using any version of Window before Windows 10 (particularly Windows 7 or XE) you should update to Windows 10 as soon as possible. If your machine does not support Windows 10, you should consider replacing it with one that does unless you feel that you have no data worth spending that much to protect.
3. If you are running any version of Windows, including Windows 10, you should install anti-virus software. There are several good products on the market. Choose a well-established brand. This is not necessary for Apple users as IOS comes with its own anti-virus software built in. Once you have installed virus detection and prevention software, you should use the “Scan” feature regularly – at least once a week.
4. Similarly, you should always keep versions of other software up to date. Some of these are more important than others. Browsers, for example, should always be updated. Products such as Office 365 or its components (Word, Excel, etc.) are less important unless you are exchanging documents with others. If you do this regularly, you should make sure that you are using the latest version of the software at both ends.
5. Never ever click on a weblink in an e-mail or any other type of document unless you are certain who sent it and are confident that it is safe to do so. If in doubt – don’t click. Be wary if you get a document (e.g. an Excel file) with “macros enabled”. Normally Excel will offer you the choice to disable these before you open the spreadsheet. Unless you know and trust the sender and know that the sender has put in these macros, you should click on “Disable Macros”.
6. If you are suspicious about a link or attachment, do not reply with an e-mail to “check” that the user is who they claim to be. A criminal may have be able to divert your reply to his or her address. Use a different way of contacting the supposed sender, known only to you, for example phoning them or contacting them using a different e-mail address or contacting them via a mutual acquaintance or colleague.
7. Similarly, you should never open an attached file no matter what it is (pdf, Word, Excel, whatever) unless you are certain that you know its provenance.
8. Never give your password (or PIN) to anybody, especially somebody requesting it online. No reputable organisation will ask for this type of information to be sent over the Internet. Likewise, be careful when giving such information to somebody on the ‘phone – particularly if they have called you. If in doubt, say you will call back after you have checked their number. Be especially wary of calls claiming to be from your bank.
9. Passwords should be stored safely. This is easier said than done given how many of them that we need in this day and age. There are technical solutions (like a password vault), but if you must keep a list, make sure that it is somewhere that is hard for a thief to find.
10. It is not necessary to change passwords all the time, but you should not use the same password for different services where those services are important or might hold your credit card details (e.g. Amazon or Tesco). You should also never use simple passwords or ones containing family names or dates of birth. Given that many members of the club are not as young as they once were, a simple and easy way to have a memorable password is to extract a segment from a well-known saying, turning number sounds into digits, inverting it and appending a non-alphanumeric character. For example:
“Service before self” - > “Service be4 self” -> “vicebe4se” -> “es4ebeciv%”
With a little thought, you can come up with even more complicated passwords that are not difficult to reconstruct should you forget them.
11. Never put a USB or a (non-commercial) CD or DVD into your computer unless you are certain that it is safe.
The above points are designed to prevent an attack. It is also important to be able to recover quickly if you are attacked. This is referred to as cyber resilience. The most important thing for ordinary users is to keep an up to date backup of your important data. Many people back up to the cloud or another machine that they have in the house. Some people keep two backups in different locations. Ideally the backup should be some distance away in case of fire. For a commercial organisation, this is essential.
There are more sophisticated precautions that you can take including (for example) encrypting your data or installing stand-alone backup devices. Dermot Knight and I may be able to help, though professional advice is recommended if you have large amounts of highly sensitive data that you need to protect. Neither Dermot nor I are cyber security specialists, but we know something about the topic and would be happy to answer queries, if only to redirect you to somebody who can help.
There is a useful website provided by the ICS on cyber resilience. This is aimed at company directors/board members, but it contains a lot of useful information and many links to other sources of advice and information.