Khalil Sehnaoui

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Khalil Sehnaoui
Sehnaoui in 2015
Born (1975-05-23) May 23, 1975 (age 48)
Beirut, Lebanon
NationalityLebanese, Belgian
Business Management
Computer science
OccupationInformation Security Consultant Information Technology Consultant Actor
OrganizationKrypton Security
Known forComputer Security Consulting, Hacking and Commentary, Acting
RelativesNicolas Sehnaoui (Cousin) Antoun Sehnaoui (Cousin)
WebsiteKhalil Sehnaoui

Khalil Sehnaoui is a Belgian-Lebanese information security consultant[1] who specialises in the Middle-East[2] and the founder[3] and managing partner of Beirut-based Krypton Security.[4][5] He is also a member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC),[6] Europe's largest association of hackers.[7] In 2021 Sehnaoui started an acting career by featuring in the TV mini series The Role[8] and the TV series Al Hayba.


He co-founded and is a managing partner at the security firm Krypton Security which helps test companies' security strengths, weaknesses, and potential loopholes.

In an online report published on April 6, 2016, Sehnaoui was listed as one of the top 100 influencers in Information Security.[9]

Sehnaoui is often called upon to comment in media about Information Security matters.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Early life and education[edit]

Sehnaoui was born in Beirut, to parents Marwan Sehnaoui and Mouna Bassili Sehnaoui, on 23 May 1975 and grew up living between Paris, France and Beirut, Lebanon. His father is the President of the Lebanese Order of Malta[21] and his mother is a Middle-East painter.[22]

He attended College Stanislas in Paris as well as Collège Louise Wegman in Beirut, following which he earned a BA in Management from Universite Saint Joseph in Beirut as well as a Masters in Economics.

Media and television[edit]


Sehnaoui was featured in The Guardian's video series "The Power of Privacy" in 2015.[23]

In May 2017 Sehnaoui went viral on Twitter[24] and the internet after tweeting about getting revenge on loud and rude customers in a coffee shop.[25] The customers were being loud and rude to waiters, and were having a very voluble conversation about their perfect new business name.[26] As a retaliation Sehnaoui registered the domain name and tweeted about it. According to Mashable, "Twitter users praised Sehnaoui for his act of digital savagery".[27]


Sehnaoui was also featured on National Geographic in 2017 in the series Breakthrough,[28] produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Season 2 Episode 2, Cyber-Terror. This episode offered "An exclusive look inside the shadowy world of hackers, where good battles evil with the security of the world at stake. This episode follows “white-hat” hackers Jayson Street, Darren Kitchen and Khalil Sehnaoui, security specialists who combine clever coding with “Mission: Impossible”-style “social engineering.” "[29][30]


In 2019 Sehnaoui was featured amongst 70 information security professionals in a book called "Tribe of Hackers",[31] a collection of industry, career, and personal insights from cybersecurity luminaries. The book quickly rose to the #1 spot of new releases on Amazon in the Computer Security and encryption category.[32]


In 2015 there was a controversy when Sehnaoui identified that Silent Circle's warrant canary had been removed from their site.[33] Sehnaoui was also prominently featured in a video series by The Guardian about privacy risks [34] and is often called upon to comment on recent Information Security news.[35][36] Before founding an information security firm he attempted to improve patient representation in the Lebanese insurance industry.[37]

Starting January 2016 there were reports that the Islamic State allegedly built a new Android app called Alrawi for exchanging encrypted messages,[38] based on claims from online counter-terrorism firm Ghost Security Group (GSG). The claim was quickly reprinted by Newsweek, Fortune and TechCrunch, among others.[39][40] Sehnaoui was one of the security specialists that helped debunk the myth of this tool, showing that it was just a "bad media mock-up to try and get some attention".[41]

In July 2018, he was arrested for alleged piracy of several Lebanese companies and government institutions, his detention was illegal as there is a legal vacuum in Lebanese laws about cybercrime. He was released after being questioned and no charges were brought against him.


  1. ^ "Gun Ownership, Religion And Other Details For Millions Leaked". The Washington Times. The Washington Times, LLC. June 23, 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  2. ^ "French government considers law that would outlaw strong encryption". The Daily Dot. SlashDot. January 12, 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Why Chrysler's car hack 'fix' is staggeringly stupid". ZDnet. CBS Interactive. July 27, 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Les banques sont-elles à l'abri des cyberattaques ?". Le Commerce du Levant. Société de press et d’édition libanaise S.A.L. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Cybersecurity risks loom for Lebanese banks". Daily Star. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Kazakhstan will force its citizens to install internet backdoors". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  7. ^ "CCC | Home".
  8. ^ "Khalil Sehnaoui". IMDb. 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Cyber Security and InfoSec: Top 100 Influencers and Brands". Joe Fields. OnAlytica. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Game of Thrones can teach you valuable security lessons". Vincenzo Marsden. CSO. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Hack of NSA-linked Group Is Legitimate, Cybersecurity Firm Says". Patrick Howell O'Neill. The Daily Dot. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Cisco patches 'ExtraBacon' zero-day exploit leaked by NSA hackers". Patrick Howell O'Neill. The Daily Dot. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  13. ^ "FBI director: 'There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America'". Patrick Howell O'Neill. The Daily Dot. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Cybersecurity Experts: Trump Profoundly Misunderstands Hacking'". Kevin Collier. Vocativ. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  15. ^ "After Outcry, Trump's Twitter Switches From Gmail To Gov Address". Kevin Collier. Vocativ. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Enterprise Intelligence Brief: Threat Hunting Takes Center Stage". Natasha Bishop. IBM, Inc. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  17. ^ "These Arab Hackers Want To Make America Safe Again -- Will Trump Let Them?". Thomas Fox-Brewster. Forbes. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Islamic State Supporters Hit By Android Malware On Telegram". Patrick O'Neill. Cyberscoop. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Confide, A Favourite App Of Trump's White House, Is 'A Triumph Of Marketing Over Substance'". Patrick O'Neill. Cyberscoop. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Security lapse exposed New York airport's critical servers for a year". Zack Whittaker. CBS Interactive. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Rencontres A Mokhtara Entre l'Ordre De Malte Et L'Association Abou Hassan Aref Halaoui". L'Orient Le Jour. Orient-Le-Jour. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Byblos, Lebanon's Ancient Port, Is Reborn". The New York Times. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  23. ^ "The Power of Privacy – film". Aleks Krotoski. Guardian News and Media Limited. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Sehnaoui's Tweet". Twitter. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Coffee Shop Customer Delivers 'Obnoxious' Table Neighbors A Delicious Lesson". Lee Moran., Inc. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  26. ^ "How one man wreaked ingenious revenge on rude customers in a coffee shop". Adam Boult. Telegraph Media Group Limited. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Man Gets Revenge On Rude People In Coffee Shop". April Hautea. Mashable, Inc. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Breakthrough - Cyber Terror". National Geographic. National Geographic Partners, LLC. 9 May 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-05-17. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Breakthrough: Season Two Announced for Nat Geo Series". Jessica Pena. TV Series Finale. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Nat Geo's Next Ep of 'Breakthrough' Proves We Can't Afford to Trust Each Other". Brady Dale. Observer. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  31. ^ "Tribe of Hackers". Marcus J. Carey. Threatcare. 9 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  32. ^ Tribe of Hackers. 9 February 2019. ISBN 978-1793464187. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  33. ^ "Silent Circle: We haven't been served a single demand for data". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  34. ^ "The power of privacy (2/5): Hacking exposed: the tricks of the trade". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  35. ^ "#TangoDown: The 'Biggest Ever' Web Attack That Wasn't". ZDnet. CBS Interactive. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  36. ^ "18 Million Targeted Voter Records Exposed By Database Error". CSO Online. IDG Enterprise. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  37. ^ "Healthcare -- Between Payment and Patient". Executive Magazine. Newsmedia S.A.L. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "Researchers: ISIS Has Built A Secure Messaging App". Defense One. National Journal Group, Inc. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  39. ^ "ISIS Creates Its Own Secure Messaging App". NewsWeek. Newsweek LTD. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  40. ^ "ISIS Has Its Own Encrypted Chat App". TechCrunch. AOL,Inc. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  41. ^ "The myth of the ISIS Encrypted Messaging App". The Daily Dot. SlashDot. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

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