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.

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Upcoming Events


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QCRI Summer Internship Program

Download ICS File 06/05/2018  - 05/07/2018 , Hamad Bin Khalifa Research Complex

Each year, Qatar Computing Research Institute organizes a summer internship program for undergraduate students studying computer science, computer engineering and other disciplines. The internship is unpaid, and QCRI does not provide any visa support.

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Past Events


Public Talk by Prof. Regina Barzilay "Artificial Intelligence for Oncology: Learning to Cure Cancer from Images and Text"

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

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QCRI & MIT-CSAIL Annual Project Review 2018

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

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News Releases

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