• Ethical hacker, Clément Domingo, alias SaxX, alerts and advises companies and communities on cybersecurity issues.
  • In 2022, he created with other cyber-vigilantes the NGO Hackers Without Borders to help humanitarian associations affected by computer hacking.
  • The Rennes native will be on deck this Friday for the Breizh CTF, a major hacker competition he co-founded in 2015 in his city.

It's been almost two years since he texted or answered calls on his phone. "I'm not paranoid, but there are basic things I don't do anymore," Domingo said. To communicate, he prefers to go through other more secure channels. If he is wary of the hacking of his data, it is because the thirty-year-old knows a radius. Better known as SaxX, this cybersecurity engineer is one of the most famous French hackers. But not just any hacker. "I am an ethical hacker," says the Rennais, who is fighting to restore its nobility to hacking. "People still have a negative image of hackers, they see us as cybercriminals," he says. But there are also plenty of hackers protecting us to secure our democracy. It is this path, "the camp of good", that SaxX chose to take a few years ago.

Clément Domingo does not have the profile of a geek. Born in Dakar, Senegal, he lived "an African childhood", raised in faith and religion by his grandmother. "I didn't touch a computer until I was 17 when I came to France," he says. In Africa, it is more music that fascinates him, animating many weddings as DJ. "That's where I discovered the tinkering and resourceful spirit," he says.

"A passion that turns into a mission"

Predispositions that will lead him, once in France, to be passionate about the computer world. In BTS in Châteaulin (Finistère), he discovers with his classmates network games. Self-taught, he then learned on the job to code "to win games faster". He also discovered the world of hackers at this time. In this dark universe, he has the chance to "come across good people with ethics". "But maybe if I had come across less savory people, I too could have switched to the other side," he says.

Cyber-vigilante, SaaX is now responsible for tracking on the dark web cybercriminals "who have chosen ease and greed". He first put his skills at the service of communities and companies to help them detect and correct vulnerabilities before cybercriminals exploit them. "But hacking is more than a profession, it's a passion that turns into a mission," says SaaX. With other hackers, he launched the NGO Hackers Without Borders in early 2022 to provide technical assistance to humanitarian NGOs affected by computer attacks. "We do humanitarian work in cyberspace by offering a digital shield to NGOs," he sums up.

At the bedside of the African continent

Co-founder of the Breizh CTF, a computer security competition held this Friday evening in Rennes (see box), the Breton hacker also spends a lot of time in Africa. On his native continent, he rubs shoulders with senior leaders to advise and raise awareness on cybersecurity issues. "I was recently at the bedside of a state agency in West Africa that was the victim of ransomware," he says, preferring to remain discreet about the content of his missions and the names of his clients.

Our Cybersecurity File

In a few weeks, he will also head to Luxembourg to raise awareness among young people about cyberbullying and introduce them to his job. Hacker full-time, SaxX still manages from time to time to get computers. "I love cooking and I keep mixing," he says. It's a bit of a decompression airlock that helps me find a balance. »

600 hackers ready to face each other

Launched in 2015 in Rennes, the Breizh CTF will see 600 ethical hackers from all over the France compete this Friday evening at the Couvent des Jacobins. Throughout the night, participants will have to solve as many computer tests as possible. The event will also be an opportunity to inform middle and high school students about cyber professions and the dynamism of this sector, which is looking for many candidates.

  • Digital
  • Computer science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cybercrime
  • Cyberattack
  • Hacker
  • Rennes
  • Brittany
  • Society