I've recently learned much more about Tor hidden service, thanks to this post, and its answers. But I am still wondering about a few small tid-bits...
As said in the linked post:
Q: If a hidden services IP is hidden, how is it possible to connect to them?
A: "Tor network uses different mechanisms, as stated in the article mentioned above."
a. If I am interpreting this correctly, then Tor uses a mechanism to find the hidden IP of the hidden service hoster, so whose to say an individual aiming to deanonymize a hidden service hoster doesn't use these same mechanisms or somehow see's the IP after Tor has completed this mechanism and find's the hoster's real IP, which could be very dangerous, depending on the situation. (oppressive government)
b. Another way I have interpreted this is that the client, nor Tor, needs to know the real IP address of the hidden service hoster, since they only communicate through a rendezvous point, and they both go through 3 encrypted hops just like normal to the rendezvous point, providing them both anonymity. Is this true, or is a. true?
If b. is true, then the client and hidden service hoster don't communicate outside of the rendezvous point, becuase it's unsafe... So how do they find out which rendezvous point they will both be communicating at? And is\f the data is decrypted at the rendezvous point from the hidden service from the hoster, and encrypted again for the client, could a malicious/adversary controlled rendezvous point see what data is being sent/received?
This is also stated in the linked post:
"Note that hidden services might be deployed without IP address at all; while a machine running Tor would have an IP address, the hidden service itself might only listen on HiddenServicePort and thus be not available without Tor at all."
If an individual is living in a country with an oppressive government, and wants to host a hidden service in this way to avoid a dangerous situation, how would they do so?
Thanks for any and all answers.