How do you mean "hack" the PS3?
If you mean install a customized firmware (CFW), you need to be running at least 3.55 PS3 firmware or lower.
I am pretty sure the only way to get back to 3.55 is to run an E3 flasher and I don't even know if it will work since yesterday I noticed they updated to 4.25.
The only value in it that I could see is the ability to play burned games, and it isn't really even worth it since you can't access PSN without the latest firmware from Sony.
If you're talking about hacking like cheating on Call of Duty, I'm sure you can do it with a patch blocker, but I had a friend who did it and the game only lets you play with other exploiters. It's not like you can enter legitimate games and do the cheats.
As for bricking, the only way I've heard of Sony bricking your console is by accessing PSN without the latest official firmware.