According to the mobile security company Lookout, an updated version of Android malware LeNa (Legacy Native) can control Android phones. LeNa has affected many Android devices in the past.
Under the appearance of a legitimate application, LeNa tricked users into allowing it access to information.
The previous version required the target phone to be rebooted. Now, with the updated LeNa app, the owners of the infected phones are not even aware of the situation, as the malware doesn't display any symptoms.
"By employing an exploit, this new variant of LeNa does not depend on user interaction to gain root access to a device," warns Lookout's Tim Wyatt.
The malware connects to remote servers in order to send sensitive phone information and to install malicious software on the infected handset. The new LeNa seems like a fully functional copy of popular apps, like "Angry Birds Space," and, according to Lookout, "hides its malicious payload in the string of code at the end of an otherwise genuine JPEG file."
For now, Android users who are only downloading apps from Google Play (Android Market) are safe. The new version of LeNa has been spotted on third-party Chinese app websites.