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A visit to Low Yat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur's shady electronics mall

Low Yat Plaza is a seven-story, 500+ retailer electronics mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is regarded as "IT heaven" and a place for outstanding bargains where haggling is the norm. Low Yat is also a buyer-beware marketplace. It's not out of the ordinary to walk out with defective goods and in 2006 the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs raided Low Yat Plaza, confiscating more than 27,000 copies of pirated computer software and movies. While in town for the Hack in The Box Security Conference, we paid a visit to this amazing electronics bazaar.
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By Violet Blue, Contributor on
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With seven floors of electronics retailers, Low Yat Plaza runs the gamut of authorized resellers to... well, buyer beware. Stories abound about the ways some retailers spoof goods (including hardware) to appear legit.

We paid a visit to Low Yat with a few volunteers from security conference Hack In The Box, which is underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this week (October 8-11).

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In America it's easy to remain unaware at how popular and widespread Nokia is in other markets, as opposed to the pop culture saturation we have with Apple and Android.

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The iPhone 5 was "available" - for ordering. We got to Low Yat before the crowds; typically the electronics mall is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with shoppers ready to haggle for bargains.

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4 of 16 Violet Blue/ZDNet

Retailers have full-on shops such as this, or stand at kiosks and in the walkways barking to shoppers as they walk past to sell them goods - and there are no guarantees or returns.

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Need a specific cable, a camera or tablet, a grab-and-go sim card, the newest game controller that's not yet available in your native country, headphones...

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We learned that Kaspersky has an impeccably coiffed International Superstar as its Ambassador.

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The dizzying view from the top floor. Each level has a general specialty.

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Keep in mind that these prices are in Malaysian Ringgits. As of this writing, one Ringgit is equal to $0.32 USD, £0.20 GPB or €0.25 Euro.

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If you're tired of big brand monopolies in the point-and-shoot space, you could always just visit Low Yat and get a "Canonsonic" camera.

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For all your CCTV needs - except when we asked, they didn't actually have a pocket-sized CCTV.

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The cost of surveillance.

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This store was tucked in the far back of the mall on the top floor, where all manner of odd shops are.

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Many of the shops have fun names, like this "All IT Hypermart."

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Again, keep in mind that these prices are in Malaysian Ringgits. As of this writing, one Ringgit is equal to $0.32 USD, £0.20 GPB or €0.25 Euro.

Also keep in mind that at Low Yat it is very difficult to find vendors that actually reflect the prices they advertise - it's common to get a higher price when you ask about a product (but you are expected to haggle).

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This logo looks familiar, but I can't quite place it...

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There are a few 'shops' like these as well.

Low Yat is a fun experience; I highly recommend a visit. I bought a multi-bit screwdriver kit with extension (bit selection includes pentalobes), and a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adaptor for my Air that doesn't work. This is the Low Yat way, and the entire experience exceeded my expectations.

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