Two employees of Californian security vendor Exabeam who attended the RSA 2020 conference end of last month have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, sparking concerns that others might have contracted the infection as well.
Exabeam confirmed on social media that the two staffers had tested positive for the virus, and asked RSA attendees who came into contact with them to be vigilant in monitoring themselves for symptoms, and to follow recommended guidelines to prevent possible infection.
One of the Exabeam staffers, a 45 year old engineer, returned from the RSA conference on February 28 with Covid-19 symptoms.
He fell seriously ill on March 6 and has been placed in medically induced coma and on a ventilator for assisted breathing.
Another security reseacher, Sam Reid from Perth, also attended RSA 2020 and said he has developed symptoms of infection after returning to Australia.
RenditionSec founder Jake Williams questioned why it took until today for notification to appear that the two Exabeam engineers have been diagnosed with Covid-19 infections.
I totally understand that we don't want to raise the alarm if none is warranted, but someone returning from a conference amid the COVID-19 backdrop and being hospitalized, even if he has a predisposition to pneumonia, seems like a time to exercise caution and notify the public 3/— Jake Williams (@MalwareJake) March 10, 2020
The annual RSA conference is one of the largest industry events in the world, with over 40,000 attendees from the security industry and governments worldwide.
Despite other large technology conferences such as the Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona being cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns and major sponsors pulling out, the RSA event went ahead.
RSA has acknowledged that two attendees have tested positive for Covid-19 but said it is not clear if they were infectious during the conference.
"Currently, there is not a known direct link or official governing body communicating back to RSA Conference that these individuals had symptoms at Conference or attended during the incubation period," the company said.
RSA said it has contacted the health authorities and advised people who experience flu-like symptoms to seek medical help.