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locating hidden services

Hi again,

Learning about hidden services - what are the methods (if any) for 
Tor users to locate a hidden service? Is there a way to search for 
them, get the info from the directory servers, etc? 

Say for example that I have a web server running as a hidden 
service and I only want people from a certain group to be able to 
locate/access that server. Authentication has already been 
addressed on the server but I don't want users who are not part of 
that group to "bang" on my hidden service with a bunch of bogus 
login requests.

In the past, I've used port knocking/SPA to address this issue but 
I'm not exactly sure how that would work out in a Tor/Hidden 
Service environment - anyone have any experience along those lines? 
Any other information or advice?

Thanks as always - nD   

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