The Australian government has said there will be consequences for states breaking international norms in cyberspace, and is prepared to take "military measures" in response to malicious cyber attacks.\nLaunching Australia's firstInternational Cyber Engagement Strategy this morning, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said a number of states were testing the limits of what is permissible.\n \n\u201cCyberspace is not an ungoverned space. Just like in the physical domains, states have rights but they also have obligations. Existing international law applies to states' conduct in cyberspace, complemented by agreed norms of responsible state behavior,\u201d she said.\n \n\u201cIncreasingly, states are testing the boundaries of what is and isn't acceptable in cyberspace. Australia will cooperate with its international partners to deter, mitigate and attribute malicious cyber activity by criminals, state actors and their proxies, including those that seek to interfere in the internal democratic processes of states,\u201d she added.\n \nBishop will seek \u201chigh-level reaffirmations\u201d from heads of state that they will work within international law when it comes to cyber activity. \nIf hit by malicious cyber activity, the strategy explains that Australia could respond with \u201claw enforcement or diplomatic, economic or military measures\u201d, which could include \u201coffensive cyber capabilities that disrupt, deny or degrade the computers or computer networks of adversaries\u201d.\n \nThe document says the country hasthe capability to attribute malicious cyber activity to "several levels of granularity" down to specific states and individuals.\nIn April, the government first acknowledged that Australia possesses an \u201coffensive cyber capability\u201d that can be drawn upon when responding to attacks on the nation\u2019s networks. In June, the Australian Signals Directorate was cleared to use its offensive cyber capabilities to target \u201corganised offshore cyber criminalnetworks\u201d.\n \nThe strategy emphasises that such capabilities are governed by the Australian Defence Force rules of engagement and consistent with international laws.\nThe strategy also calls for \u201cgreater candidness\u201d from other states in the relation to the military use of offensive cyber capabilities.\n \n\u201cJust as more and more states are embracing the opportunities of cyberspace to improve service delivery and drive economic growth, it is unsurprising that more and more states are exploring military applications of cyberspace,\u201d the document states.\n\u201cIn and of itself this is not a concern \u2013 provided that states acknowledge that military activities in cyberspace are governed by the same sets of rules as military activities in the physical domains,\u201d it adds.\nAs part of the strategy, Australia will also seek to create an architecture for cooperation between allies to respond to \u201cunacceptable behaviour in cyberspace\u201d quickly and within international laws.\n \nAustralia already engages in cyber policy and cyber security discussions with countries including Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, the strategy states.\n \nPartnership push\nThe strategy was authored by Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, Tobias Feakin.\n \nFeakin\u2019s role, and the formation of the international strategy, was set out in the government's $230 million2016 Cyber Security Strategyto prioritise and coordinate Australia's engagement on cyber issues on the world stage.\n \nThe document covers commercial opportunities for Australian businesses with respect to cyber security, how to "support a free, open and secure Internet" worldwide, the protection of human rights and democracy online and the use of digital technologies in international development.\n \n\u201cAustralia's interests in cyberspace are diverse and interconnected: from capturing the economic prosperity promised by digital trade and technology enabled-development, to securing Australia from the threat of cybercriminals and preserving stability in cyberspace,\u201d Feakin said today.\n \n\u201cAll of our efforts, both globally and regionally, will be delivered in partnership. We will combine the unique and complementary skills of other countries, the private sector, civil society and the research community,\u201d he added.