Although China last year vehemently denied a cyber-attack on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and government officials maintained a stony silence, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that the bureau was indeed a target of attack.

In a departure from the tight-lipped posture usually assumed in the wake of a cyber-attack, Turnbull verified that the bureau “suffered a significant cyber intrusion which was first discovered early last year,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which reported the attack in December.

Turnbull said the Department of Parliamentary Services was the target of a similar attack in the last few years. Both organisations worked with the Australian Cyber-Security Centre to fix the vulnerabilities.

While revealing a $230 million (£160.5m) Cyber-Security Strategy, the Prime Minister also acknowledged that Australian government is capable of launching cyber-attacks, although under “stringent legal oversight.”