Dr. Issa Khalil

Issa khalil
Principal Scientist
Cyber Security
QCRI is a wonderful place to work in the Middle East as it both satisfies my career goals and my family needs.

Research Focus at QCRI

Dr. Issa Khalil received his PhD. in Computer Engineering from Purdue University, USA in 2007. Immediately thereafter he joined the College of Information Technology (CIT) of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) where he served as an associate professor and department head of the Information Security Department. In June 2013, Dr. Khalil joined the Cyber Security group at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), as a Senior Scientist. He was promoted to Principal Scientist in 2017. Dr. Khalil’s research interests span the areas of wireless and wireline network security and privacy. He is especially interested in cloud security, malicious domain detection and takedown, and security data analytics. His novel technique to discover malicious domains following a "guilt-by-association" social principle attracted the attention of local media and stakeholders. Dr. Khalil has served as organizer, technical program committee member and reviewer for many international conferences and journals. He is a member of IEEE and ACM and delivers invited talks and keynotes in many local and international forums. In June 2011, Dr. Khalil was granted the CIT outstanding professor award for outstanding performance in research, teaching and service.

Research interests: Security Data Analytics, Network Security, Privacy

Previous Experience

Professional Experience

  • Coordinator/Information Security Track/ College of Information Technology/United Arab Emirates University/UAE (2012-2013)
  • Associate Professor/ College of Information Technology/United Arab Emirates University/UAE (2011-2013)
  • Assistant Professor/College of Information Technology/United Arab Emirates University/UAE (2007-2011)
  • Post-Doc/ Dependable Systems Lab/Purdue University/USA (2006-2007)
  • Research Assistant/Dependable Systems Lab/Purdue University/USA (2003-2006)
  • General Director/Information and Communications Center/Al-Quds Open University/Palestine (1996-2003)

Professional Associations and Awards

  • Outstanding Professor Award for outstanding performance in research, teaching, and services, College of Information Technology, UAEU, 2011
  • Research Champion Award, Dependable Computing Systems Laboratory (DCSL), Purdue University, 2007
  • Research Champion Award, Dependable Computing Systems Laboratory (DCSL), Purdue University, 2006
  • Fulbright Scholarship for Ph.D. Studies, US Department of State (2003-2006)


  • Ph.D., Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, 2006
  • M.Sc., Computer Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan, 1996
  • B.Sc., Computer Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan, 1994

Selected Research

  • Z. Qin, Y. Yang, T. Yu, I. Khalil, X. Xiao, K. Ren, “Heavy Hitter Estimation over Set-Valued Data with Local Differential Privacy”; Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2016), pp. 192-203, Vienna, Austria, Oct 24-28, 2016.
  • I. Khalil, T. Yu, and B. Guan, “Discovering Malicious Domains through Passive DNS Data Graph Analysis,” ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS 2016), May 30 - June 3, 2016 in Xi'an, China.
  • I. Khalil, Z. Dou and A. Khreishah,
    “Your Credentials Are Compromised, Do Not Panic: You Can Be Well Protected,” ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS 2016), May 30 - June 3, 2016 in Xi'an, China.
  • A. Gharaibeh, A. Khreishah, and I. Khalil. “An O(1)-Competitive Online Caching Algorithm for Content Centric Networking,” IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2016), 10-15 April 2016, San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • Z. Dou, I. Khalil, A Khreishah, “A Novel and Robust Authentication Factor Based on Network Communications Latency,” IEEE Systems Journal (IEEE). accepted, April 2017.

Follow Us

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed
  • Linkedin
  • github-web.png
Back to Top

In the Media

Economist story pic.JPG

Improving disaster response efforts through data


Extreme weather events put the most vulnerable communities at high risk. How can data analytics strengthen early warning systems and and support relief efforts for communities in need? The size and ...

Read More

Yazan Wired story pic.jpg

Your sloppy bitcoin drug deals will haunt you for years


Perhaps you bought some illegal narcotics on the Silk Road half a decade ago, back when that digital black market for every contraband imaginable was still online and bustling. You might already ...

Read More

Luis Luque El Correo.jpg

Entrevista con Luis Fernández Luque, cofundador de Salumedia e investigador del Qatar Computing Research Institute


Si quiere buscar un ejemplo de ciudadano del mundo, de los que al cabo del año vive y trabaja desde numerosos países, y a través de internet, esté donde esté, desarrolla en remoto actividades para ...

Read More

Upcoming Events

Past Events


App Inventor.jpg

QCRI's Creative Space to hold free app inventor workshop

Download ICS File 01/02/2018 ,

QCRI is to offer an introduction to mobile app development workshop for boys and girls aged 13-16. Students will learn the basics of mobile app development using the App Inventor platform. The ...

Read More


after school pic.JPG

QCRI's Creative Space launches free after-school computing courses for teenagers

Download ICS File 01/11/2017  - 20/12/2017 ,

We offer an App Inventor Course in Arabic for students aged 13-15 and an Arduino Programming Course in English for students aged 14-18. Courses are free. Please register quickly as places are limited.

Read More

Summer Camp 2.jpg

QCRI conducts first summer computing camps for kids

Download ICS File 16/07/2017  - 27/07/2017 ,

Children and teenagers have been given a rare chance to develop their computing skills with world-class computing scientists at the first summer computing camp conducted by the Qatar Computing ...

Read More

News Releases

bioinformatics cancer pic.jpg

QCRI scientists develop algorithm to detect brain cancer markers


Scientists from the Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed a new algorithm that can identify driver genes of several types of gliomas, the most common and aggressive forms of primary brain...

Read More

Jim Jansen pic preferred.jpg

Research by QCRI's Jim Jansen among most influential of decade: top journals


QCRI Social Computing group's principal scientist achieves rare honor.

Read More

yelena pic.JPG

#Halal now a lifestyle definition on Instagram


The word “halal” is no longer being defined only in a religious context but is becoming a lifestyle term associated with health and fashion around the globe, a new study of Instagram posts led by ...

Read More