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Re: hidden service maps

Grant Heller wrote:
Thank you for replying, Ben.
Can (the concept of) a hidden service be simplified to that of any arbitrary protocol? Reconfigure an application to point to Tor instead of the Internet and if the hidden service exists, the application will communicate normally?

No prob. :)

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Yes, but it's a little more difficult. The application can't try to connect via IP, because hidden services don't have IPs. It has to connect via a hostname. As I understand it, this means the application must be using SOCKS 4a or SOCKS 5, and also must be set up to do that - a lot of applications simply aren't, and expect to be able to resolve the host and then connect to the IP in two separate steps. Which, in fairness, works in virtually all cases.

If the application is properly coded, then, yes, any system which doesn't break the network layering hierarchy will work just fine, given an appropriate onion address.

It would presumably be possible to rig up some kind of wacky system that mapped private IPs to onion addresses on the fly, but Tor doesn't have that yet (and I don't know if they've even bothered considering implementing it, there are bigger issues.)