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After that, both client and hidden service can use their circuits to the rendezvous point for communicating with each other.
The rendezvous point simply relays (end-to-end encrypted) messages from client to service and vice versa.
Step three: A client that wants to contact a hidden service needs to learn about its onion address first.
After that, the client can initiate connection establishment by downloading the descriptor from the distributed hash table.
Tor makes it possible for users to hide their locations while offering various kinds of services, such as web publishing or an instant messaging server.
Using Tor "rendezvous points," other Tor users can connect to these hidden services, each without knowing the other's network identity.
See the Tor design paper for an in-depth design description and the rendezvous specification for the message formats.
Recent studies have shown that Tor onion (hidden) service websites are particularly vulnerable to website fingerprinting attacks due to their limited number and sensitive nature.
Around this time, the client also creates a circuit to another randomly picked relay and asks it to act as message (encrypted to the hidden service's public key) including the address of the rendezvous point and the one-time secret.
While the introduction points and others are told the hidden service's identity (public key), we don't want them to learn about the hidden server's location (IP address).
Step two: the hidden service assembles a , containing its public key and a summary of each introduction point, and signs this descriptor with its private key.
We investigate which sites are more or less vulnerable to fingerprinting and which features make them so.
We find that there is a high variability in the rate at which sites are classified (and misclassified) by these attacks, implying that average performance figures may not be informative of the risks that website fingerprinting attacks pose to particular sites.