This is described in detail in the Tor Rendezvous Specification.
Basically a client will check 6 HSDirs. It calculates which 6 nodes to check from the .onion address itself.
In the below explanation, Bob is the owner of the hidden service (i.e. the .onion site), and Alice is the person wanting to connect to the hidden service.
Bob wants to advertise ...
This is oldish research that was presented about a year ago by Filippo Valsorda and George Tankersley at HITB.
Sophos are an anti-virus company. They have a product to sell and the person who wrote the article clearly doesn't know what they're talking about, for example...
"recently revealed a new vulnerability" is false in that it ...
According to this post on the Tor blog: https://blog.torproject.org/category/tags/hidden-services
"If you don't know a hidden service address, then under the new system, you won't find it out just by hosting its HSDir entry."
The whole point of an onion service is that it can stay hidden if the owner wants to do so.
Yes, currently HSDirs can see the looked up .onion hostname. This does not include the full URL but just the .onion hostname. Proposal 224 (ticket #12424) will fix this issue. See also #8106.
If you want to make the page accessible to your friends only the HiddenServiceAuthorizeClient option might be something that could interest you.
As far as I know it is still possible to do those kind of attacks against the network. However Tor tries to detect bad relays and block them from participating in the network. So there is a high chance that your research doesn't lead to satisfactory results.
Tor has created a Research Safety Board. You can ask them for advice on how to best conduct your ...
Introduction Points do not need to be a Hidden Service Directory.
In theory, you could manually pick introduction points but there is no configuration option to do this, since it's not helpful for anonymity, security or availability.
You may wish to read up on the specifics of the Rendezvous Protocol to better understand what goes into creating a circuit ...
Each Tor circuit has 3 relays: a guard, middle, and exit. A HS server will build a Tor circuit to the Introduction Point, Rendezvous Point, and HS Directory, so there would be 3 relays between the HS Server and any of these 3 points.
When browsing a Hidden Service, your browser and the HS Server each build their own circuit to the Rendezvous Point, so there ...
There is a tutorial on retrieving the number of bytes a relay has written and read here (run the code after installing stem):
from stem.control import Controller
with Controller.from_port(port = 9051) as controller:
controller.authenticate() # provide the password here if you set one
bytes_read = controller.get_info("traffic/read")
bytes_written = ...