Khalil Sehnaoui is a Belgian-Lebanese information security consultant who specializes in the Middle-East, and the founder and managing partner of Beirut-based Information Security company Krypton Security. He is also a member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), Europe's largest association of hackers. He co-founded and is a managing partner at the security firm Krypton Security which helps test companies' security strengths, weaknesses, and potential loopholes. He brings with him more than 10 years of financial, marketing and start-up development experience.
Prior to his involvement in the creation of Krypton, he was in charge of Business Development at the Société Générale de Banque au Liban Bank (SGBL), one of Lebanon leading financial institutions.
Over the course of his career at SGBL, he held managerial positions in different departments including marketing and most notably risk management. He remains a consultant for the bank, an advisor to the CEO, and a member of the board of Fidus SAL the Wealth Management arm of SGBL, one of Lebanon’s leading provider of investment, brokerage and financial services.
Khalil has also been involved and created several start-ups that developed into full fledged success stories in the MENA region, the latest of which is a Third Party Administrator (TPA) that provides risk and healthcare management services for insurance companies, called Total Care. This company now operates in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and is one of the leading providers in both countries.
In 2015 there was a controversy when Sehnaoui identified that Silent Circle's warrant canary had been removed from their site. Sehnaoui was also prominently featured in a video series by The Guardian about privacy risks and is often called upon to comment on recent Information Security news. Before founding an information security firm he attempted to improve patient representation in the Lebanese insurance industry.
His involvement in Information Security comes from a passion that has been nurtured over the past 20 years, and his areas of expertise include penetration testing, wireless networks assessment and network management.
Starting January 2016 there were reports that the Islamic State allegedly built a new Android app called Alrawi for exchanging encrypted messages, based on claims from online counter-terrorism firm Ghost Security Group(GSG). The claim was quickly reprinted by Newsweek, Fortune and TechCrunch, among others. 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".
In an online report published on April 6, 2016, Sehnaoui was listed as one of the top 100 influencers in Information Security.
Sehnaoui is often called upon to comment in media about Information Security matters.
Sehnaoui was featured in The Guardian's video series "The Power of Privacy" in 2015. In May 2017 Sehnaoui went viral on Twitter and the internet after tweeting about getting revenge on loud and rude customers in a coffee shop. The customers were being loud and rude to waiters, and were having a very voluble conversation about their perfect new business name. 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".
Sehnaoui was also featured on National Geographic in 2017 in the series Breakthrough, 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. The episode follows “white-hat” hackers Jayson Street, Darren Kitchen and Khalil Sehnaoui, security specialists who combine clever coding with “Mission: Impossible”-style “social engineering.”
In 2019 Sehnaoui was featured amongst 70 information security professionals in a book called "Tribe of Hackers", 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.
He was also featured in a comic book series by Hackerstrip: Comics for Hackers. The series features real hackers and real stories in a comic book format and is very popular among the Information Security community.
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 and his mother is a renowned Middle-Eastern painter.
He attended College Stanislas in Paris as well as Collège Louise Wegman in Beirut, following which he earned a BA in Management from Université Saint Joseph in Beirut as well as a Masters in Economics. Khalil completed over the past few years many courses on Information Security and Ethical Hacking, and is a recognized active member of the InfoSec Community.
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