The Australian Government has admitted it can conduct cyber attacks.

The Prime Minister launched a new $230 million Cyber Security Strategy this week, designed to boost the nation's defences against online assaults on individuals, businesses and government services.

Some experts estimate cyber crime costs the economy billions of dollars a year.

Mr Turnbull’s five-tiered plan pledges to: strengthen national partnerships between government and business; strengthen defences; create an ambassador for open, free and secure internet access; set up an industry-led innovation growth centre; and conduct awareness campaigns.

The targets for the new spending include; a $39 million new home for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (giving better access to the private sector), $47 million for ‘threat-sharing centres’, a $36 million boost to intelligence and investigation capabilities, and a $30 million industry-led Cyber Security Growth Centre.

The new scheme is being framed as a a joint response from government and the private sector, and will feature an annual security meeting with business leaders and the soon-to-be-appointed assistant minister for cyber security.

The Commonwealth’s cyber security came under scrutiny last year, when media reports uncovered an intrusion into the Bureau of Meteorology network.

It was strongly assumed that the hack attack came from an international government, and potentially gave it access to a large area of the Australian Government’s tech network.

It left an infection that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix.

Cyber security arrangements and information on breaches are usually kept top secret, but there is now a movement towards openness and transparency as a defence.

The Federal Government appears to have taken on some of the transparency, referring to its ‘offensive’ cyber abilities for the first time.

Page 21 of the new Cyber Security Strategy states: “Australia's defensive and offensive cyber capabilities enable us to deter and respond to the threat of cyber attack”.

Insiders say the admission was made to help break down the risk-averse attitude of the bureaucracy.

“A secure cyberspace provides trust and confidence for individuals, business and the public sector to share ideas and information and to innovate online,” Mr Turnbull said.